Monday, 11 August 2014

InterMune said to be working with Evercore on strategic options

It sounds like this InterMune situation is heating up.

Good sources tell me InterMune - a US-based bio-pharmaceutical company that specialises in making a drug to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis - has begun working with bankers from Evercore alongside long-standing financial adviser Goldman Sachs to look at 'strategic options' for the business.

It is believed the appointment of Evercore may lead to a formal auction of InterMune.

To be clear, though, it still early days in the dealmaking process and a transaction is by no means a certainty.

Indeed, in 2011 InterMune weighed a sale of the business but ultimately decided against a deal. Here is a link to a Bloomberg story on the topic:

Evercore has been extremely busy in the pharmaceutical sector, advising AstraZeneca on its defence against Pfizer's £70 billion quasi-hostile takeover attempt and also advising Shire on its $50 billion deal with AbbVie.

The move to work with Evercore comes after several European pharmaceutical giants weigh multi-billion dollar offers for InterMune.

For readers that don't recall, I wrote several weeks ago that FTSE 100 giant GlaxoSmithKline was in the early stages of examining an offer for InterMune and was being advised by Lazard on its interest in the US business.

Here is a link to that article:

And back in April, I also revealed that Swiss company Actelion was interested in buying InterMune and had lined up financing from several banks, including JP Morgan. Here is a link to that article:

Since then, InterMune shares have risen substantially and it was believed Actelion had given up its pursuit of InterMune.

However, sources tell me Actelion has now rekindled its interest in InterMune and has been working with bankers from UBS and Credit Suisse on a possible transaction.

I am pretty sure there are several other companies interested in InterMune and I may have an update on this later in the week, so keep an eye on Betaville for further stories on the situation.

I have called InterMune's spokesperson but have not heard back from him. If and when he does get in touch, I will add his comments to the story.

UPDATE: An InterMune spokesperson finally got in touch and has given me the customary "no comment". Read into that what you will.

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