Icahn Wins Blue Ribbon in ImClone Race (IMCL, LLY, BMY, MRK)

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Carl Icahn appears to have won a blue ribbon for ImClone Systems (NASDAQ: IMCL) shareholders.  The biotech stock is trading up on a very weak trading day after what many had deemed as a fishy merger came to pass.  Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) is jumping in front of Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) with a higher $70.00 buyout rather than the revised $62.00 buyout which Bristol-Myers was hoping to secure. 

Bristol-Myers had originally offered $60.00.  Carl Icahn wanted moreand he looked for an alternative suitor.  When he made hisannouncement that a mystery bidder had surfaced with a tentative $70.00buyout offer pending due diligence, many were questioning if it was real or aploy.  It’s real, and the credit goes to Carl Icahn for securing that.  Many speculated that that Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) was going to emerge as the mystery bidder before the Wall Street Journal broke the Lilly link last week.

Shares of ImClone were trading around $69.00 early thismorning before the open, but right after the open rose4.25% to $67.73.  It will be interesting to see if Bristol-Myers sitson its hands or not.  Will a bidding war come into play?

Lilly shares are down 3.75% at $39.77 right after the open.Unfortunately, that is a new 52-week low versus its prior low of $41.24.

Shares of Bristol-Myers are down almost 1% at $20.25, still above its 52-week low of $19.43.

Jon C. Ogg
October 6, 2008