Astex Sued by Shareholder Over $886 Million Otsuka Bid

Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ASTX) was sued by an investor seeking more money for his shares in a planned $886 million takeover by Otsuka Holdings Co. (4578)

Astex, a cancer-drug maker based in Dublin, California, said Sept. 5 it agreed to be bought by Tokyo-based Otsuka for $8.50 a share, a 27 percent premium at the time.

“The proposed transaction is the product of a flawed process” and the shares “could be worth double what they’re selling for right now,” Astex investor Stephen Bushansky said in a complaint made public today in Delaware Chancery Court in Wilmington.

The shares fell 1.8 percent to $8.61 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading at 10:38 a.m. in New York.

Bushansky asks a judge to halt the buyout and rule that Astex directors violated their duty to get the best possible price.

Timothy Enns, an Astex spokesman, didn’t immediately reply to an e-mailed message seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Otsuka, which makes the mood-stabilizing drug Abilify, would gain a potential cancer-drug pipeline in the deal. Astex markets Dacogen for leukemia and has another leukemia drug under clinical trial.

The case is Bushansky v. Astex, CA8896, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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