Looks like Carl Icahn has had enough of letting Amylin Pharmaceuticals
Ever since he purchased shares last May, he seemed to be content just leaving the company alone -- the activist investor even grabbed some more shares late last year without making a stink. But it seems that he's had enough and has decided to nominate a slate of five directors for the board.
Welcome to the club, Amylin. Talk to your friends over at Biogen Idec
Apparently, since he owns 8.3% of the company, Amylin had been discussing placing two individuals suggested by Icahn on the company's recommended slate. I guess Icahn was either worried that he wouldn't get those seats, or he just wants more control. Even if he gets his five members on the board, Icahn can't quite take full control of the board because there are 12 seats on the board.
The big question is what Icahn plans to do with Amylin if he gets some control. Sales of diabetes drug Byetta, which it markets with Eli Lilly
He could cut costs at the unprofitable drugmaker -- research & development was 35% of revenue last year -- but R&D is pretty important at biotech firms. Amylin's long-term future is tied to its once-weekly version of Byetta, which is in head-to-head trials against Merck's
The last option, and perhaps the most likely given Icahn's track record, is selling the company. It's anyone's guess whether Amylin would follow the route of MedImmune (bought by AstraZeneca
I'm sure some bottom feeder would be happy to pick up Amylin on the cheap; I'm just not sure Icahn can get very much of a premium until positive head-to-head trials are released.