Starboard no longer urging investors to vote against Bristol-Celgene deal

BOSTON (Reuters) - Activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP said on Friday it will no longer urge shareholders to oppose Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s plans to buy Celgene Corp, even though it thinks the deal is too risky and will vote its own shares against it.

On Friday Starboard announced its intention to withdraw its proxy solicitation to vote against the Celegene transaction.

The move came hours after two influential proxy advisors, Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis, recommended that investors back the deal.

“It is extremely difficult for shareholders to prevail without a supportive recommendation from ISS and Glass Lewis to vote against the transaction,” Starboard said in a statement.

Starboard however said it still intends to vote its shares against the deal at the April 12 meeting and reiterated that it thinks the takeover “carries too much risk.”

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Chizu Nomiyama