Icahn, citing talks with CEO, drops Amylin lawsuit

Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:18pm EDT

(Reuters) - Financier Carl Icahn said he has voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit filed against Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc AMLN.O after talking with the biotech company's chief executive, Daniel Bradbury, sending Amylin's shares up over 2 percent.

Icahn, whose 8.94 percent stake has made him Amylin's third-largest shareholder, filed the suit earlier this month after the maker of diabetes drugs Byetta and Bydureon was reported to have rejected a $3.5 billion unsolicited takeover bid from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY.N).

Sources have told Reuters that Amylin started reaching out to potential buyers last week and has hired Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs as its financial advisors and Skadden Arps as its legal adviser.

Icahn said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that he "continues to strongly believe that the company should be sold at this time."

Analysts have said several drug companies could be potential buyers for Amylin, including AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L), Merck & Co (MRK.N) and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (4502.T).

Amylin said it was pleased that the lawsuit had been withdrawn. "Amylin's Board of Directors is fully aware of its fiduciary duties and is committed to always acting in the best interests of stockholders," the company said in a statement.

"The Board continually considers all options available and is relentlessly focused on creating the greatest value for our stockholders."

The lawsuit had sought to block enforcement of a bylaw that prevented the billionaire investor from launching a proxy fight.

Shares of Amylin rose as high as $26.87, before trading up 60 cents at $26.15 on Nasdaq.

(Reporting By Deena Beasley; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Leslie Gevirtz and Richard Chang)

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