Billionaire Carl Icahn dropped a lawsuit against Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. over a corporate bylaw that blocked investors from ousting directors who rejected a Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. takeover offer.
Icahn, Amylin’s third-largest investor, withdrew the complaint after meeting with Amylin Chief Executive Officer Daniel Bradbury, Icahn said today in an e-mailed statement. Icahn, who criticized Amylin officials for rejecting the $22-a-share bid, didn’t disclose the subject of the talks.
“I continue to strongly believe this company should be sold at this time,” Icahn said in a telephone interview. “It would be a great acquisition for a number of big pharma companies.”
Icahn, who has threatened proxy fights against at least seven drug companies in the past five years, sued Amylin in Delaware Chancery Court over a rule requiring advance notice of candidates for board seats after the board rejected Bristol-Myers’s $3.5 billion buyout bid.
A separate Icahn suit pending in state court in Delaware seeks records about Amylin’s consideration of the offer.
Officials of San Diego-based Amylin, make of the diabetes drugs Bydureon and Byetta, said they were pleased with Icahn’s decision to drop the bylaw suit.
The company’s board “continually considers all options available and is relentlessly focused on creating the greatest value for our stockholders,” Alice Izzo, an Amylin spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement.
Amylin rose 2.5 percent to $26.20 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 70 percent since March 27, the day before the Bristol-Myers bid was reported.
Icahn, who held 14.4 million Amylin shares as of April 4, gained board representation in 2009 after running a proxy contest in which he criticized the company’s ability to return value to shareholders.
In the bylaw suit, Icahn alleged that Amylin officials set a Jan. 25 cutoff for submitting names of potential candidates for company board seats. The deadline expired before the disclosure of the Bristol-Myers offer, the billionaire said.
The case was Icahn Partners LP v. Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., CA 7404, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).