UPDATE 3-Astellas pulls plug on $1 bln CV Therapeutics bid

lunedì 16 marzo 2009 16:08

* Astellas bows to Gilead, ends $1 bln bid for CV

* Astellas says $20/share for CV not good shareholder value

* Investor reaction to Astellas decision seen positive

* Uncertainty clouds longer-term outlook for Astellas

By Yumiko Nishitani

TOKYO, March 16 (Reuters) - Astellas Pharma Inc (4503.T: Quotazione), Japan's second-largest drugmaker, withdrew a $1 billion hostile bid for CV Therapeutics CVTX.O on Monday after the U.S. biotechnology firm reached a deal with a "white knight".

Astellas ended its four-month pursuit of CV without sweetening its offer despite repeated rejections by CV and the Japanese firm's wish to make up for setbacks in its drug pipeline with products such as CV's cardiovascular drugs.

Gilead Sciences (GILD.O: Quotazione), whose market capitalisation is nearly triple that of Astellas, won acceptance from CV last Thursday for an offer of $20 per share, topping Astellas's bid at $16 per share, due to expire on March 27.

Astellas said in a statement that trying to match Gilead's bid would hurt its shareholders.   Continua...