Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

Businessweek Archives

The Lowdown On Upjohn

Inside Wall Street


Upjohn was high on the Street's list of takeover targets last year, but the stock has been on the ropes of late. It tumbled some 5% on Mar. 6, to 42, after the Food & Drug Administration issued an adverse patent ruling involving erythropoietin, or Epo. This red-blood-cell stimulant was to be marketed under the brand name Marogen by a joint venture of Upjohn and Chugai Pharmaceutical under license from drugmaker Genetics Institute. But on Mar. 6, the FDA ruled that GI's patent is invalid.

So the Street has turned its back on Upjohn. But wait. With its chances for an earnings jump pushed further back, "Upjohn is more vulnerable to a takeover," argues one New York money manager who is close to the company. He believes that insiders, including the Upjohn family, which controls 10% of the stock, had figured it could avoid a merger because of Epo's bright prospects. With that avenue closed, a buyout may be in the works again, says the pro.

Another observer who thinks Upjohn is ripe for a buyout is Charles La Loggia, the editor of Special Situation Report. He says Upjohn has been trading just the way Square D and Vista Chemical did before they received takeover bids. Square D has rejected a $1.9 billion tender offer from French electronics giant Schneider and is now seeking a white knight. Vista has agreed to be acquired by German oil company RWE-DEA.

Whispers are that Upjohn may renew contacts with British drug company Glaxo Holdings, which is believed to have made an unofficial $60-a-share offer in 1990. Upjohn and Glaxo said they don't comment on market rumors.GENE G. MARCIAL

blog comments powered by Disqus