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Alexion Rebuffs Elliott Management's Push to Sell; Stock Spikes

The activist investment group has been pushing Alexion for a 'proactive sale' of the pharma company.
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Shares of pharmaceutical company Alexion spiked Friday after the company rejected activist investment group Elliott Management’s proposal for the company to start the process of a “proactive sale.”

The Boston company’s statement said that it is focused on delivering shareholder value by doing what it has been doing: developing and delivering medicines. 

The company also said that it will maintain an active dialogue with shareholders and welcomes constructive impact.

“In that spirit, at their request, we have recently engaged in good faith with Elliott Advisors (UK) Limited, an affiliate of Elliott Management, to listen to their point of view, including their recommendation that we immediately launch a proactive sale process,” the company’s statement said.

But Alexion’s board unanimously decided against Elliott’s plan of action because “a proactive sale process would not be in the best interest of shareholders and the patients we serve at this time.”

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"To eliminate confusion and inaccurate information in the marketplace, to date, Alexion has not received any indications of interest to acquire the company nor have we rejected any such inbound proposals," the company said.

One of the biggest factors in the company’s decision is its anticipation that it has already established a good structure to drive growth. Alexion noted that it has installed an entirely new leadership team, rebuilt and advanced its delivery pipeline, among other improvements.

Since 2017, the company has added five new directors, including CEO Ludwig Hantson, who took the top post in 2017. 

Over the past two years through today, the company’s stock is about flat. The stock at last check was up 6.1% at $133.95.

In October, the company bought drugmaker Achillion Pharmaceuticals for $930 million.