Verdict delayed on Genzyme bid for Bioenvision
A Bioenvision spokeswoman said the New York company decided to extend its shareholder vote on Genzyme’s acquisition proposal until late Friday morning, because the vote is so close to passing.
So far, shareholders controlling 47 percent of shares have voted in favor of Genzyme’s bid -- just shy of the majority voted needed for approval. But Bioenvision pointed out that many votes haven’t been cast, creating the possibility that the merger could still be approved.
Bioenvision’s board has already approved the merger.
The companies share the rights to clofarabine, a treatment for a type of leukemia. By purchasing Bioenvision, Genzyme would gain full control over the drug. Genzyme currently sells clofarabine in the United States, while Bioenvision sells it is Europe. Both companies hope to expand the drug into new markets.
Genzyme has bought 22 percent of Bioenvision shares in a tender offer, but is hoping to acquire the 78 percent of shares it doesn’t own for $5.60 per share, which values the entire company at $345 million.
Two major shareholders, Elliott Associates LP. and SCO Capital partners LLC, have publicly complained the offer is too low. In addition, several shareholder advisory firms have recommended shareholders reject the deal.
(By Todd Wallack, Globe staff)