(Recasts, adds company background)
By Ryan Vlastelica and Olivia Oran
NEW YORK, June 30 Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc
said on Sunday it rejected a roughly $10 billion
takeover offer from larger rival Amgen Inc as too low
but is still considering a sale of the company.
The company said the offer price by Amgen of $120 a share in
cash, which represents a premium of about 38 percent to the
company's Friday closing price, "significantly undervalued" its
Onyx said in a statement it was "actively exploring" a
merger partner, and that it had hired financial advisor
Centerview Partners to contact potential buyers. The San
Francisco-based company cited "expressions of interest" from
Amgen and other unnamed third parties.
An Onyx spokeswoman declined to comment further on the
statement. Amgen could not be reached for comment.
Onyx has a market cap of $6.32 billion and revenue of $362
million in 2012, while Amgen is the world's largest biotech
company, with a market cap of about $74 billion.
Onyx sells thyroid cancer treatment Nexavar and colon cancer
drug Stivarga in partnership with German pharmaceutical company
Amgen has been looking for new ways to boost its product
pipeline as sales for its anemia drugs Aranesp and Epogen have
been in a decline for years because of usage restrictions and
The company said earlier this year it was making a push into
biosimilars - cheaper alternative versions of biotech medicines
- with plans to launch six beginning in 2017.
Amgen's first-quarter sales fell short of expectations, as
revenue for the period rose 5 percent to $4.24 billion which was
short of Wall Street projections of $4.37 billion.
The Financial Post reported the offer on Friday, sparking a
steep jump in Onyx shares in after-hours trading.
ISI Group analyst Mark Schoenebaum wrote that if a deal were
to be made, Onyx's Kyprolis cancer drug would fit well into
Amgen's cancer drug sales and marketing infrastructure and
complement Amgen's portfolio of cancer drugs.
Kyprolis, developed for patients with multiple myeloma who
have received at least two prior therapies, was approved by the
Food and Drug Administration last July.
Large pharmaceutical companies have increasingly been
looking to acquire smaller biotech firms to gain access to new
drugs as they face significant revenue losses stemming from
This need has driven the volume of healthcare M&A in the
first six months of 2013 to $93.6 billion up 30.2 percent over
the same period last year.
Recent deals include generic drugmaker Actavis Inc's
$8.5 billion acquisition of Warner Chilcott and Human Genome
Sciences' $3 billion sale to GlaxoSmithKline Plc.
(Editing by Doina Chiacu, Bill Trott, Marguerita Choy and Diane