Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) - Get Free Report slumped to the bottom of the S&P 500 Monday after the group said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission was still looking into its proposed $74 billion takeover of cancer specialist Celgene Corp. (CELG) - Get Free Report and that it would sell that company's psoriasis to push the deal through.
Bristol-Myers said it was "actively engaged" in discussions with the FTC, which is continuing to review the tie-up that was first announced in January and given shareholder approval in April. The company said it hopes to complete the deal by the end of this year, or in early 2020, adding its submitted a formal application for approval from the European Commission. The company also said it would sell Celgene's psoriasis treatment, Otezla, and use the funds to accelerate its post-closing deleveraging plans.
"Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to working with regulatory authorities around the world on the proposed combination with Celgene. The Company is focused on realizing the promise of the transaction, and is continuing to work to complete the transaction on a timely basis," the company said in a statement published Monday. "Bristol-Myers Squibb reaffirms the significant value creation opportunity of the acquisition of Celgene. Together with $2.5 billion of cost synergies, a compelling pipeline and a strong portfolio of marketed products, the Company continues to expect growth in sales and earnings through 2025."
Bristol-Myers shares were marked 7.5% lower Monday following the merger update, after rising 0.2% in the pre-market session, to change hands at $45.70 each, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date decline to around 12%. Celgene shares were marked 5% lower at $93.96 each.
This past April, Bristol-Myers posted stronger than-expected first quarter earnings, and boosted one of its key profit forecast, after seeing off an activist challenge to the Celgene deal.
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Bristol-Myers boosted its GAAP earnings forecast to between $3.84 and $3.94 per share and said it sees a gross margin of around 70% of revenues. Non-GAAP earnings forecasts were confirmed in the range of $4.10 to $4.20 per share, compared to a Refintiv estimate of $4.18 per share.
ristol-Myers secured 75% shareholder support to approve its $74 billion takeover of Celgene on April 12, putting the company closer to finalizing the largest pharmaceutical merger in history.
Bristol-Myers' position took a positive turn in late March after an influential shareholder advisory group recommended investors vote in favor of the cancer drug specialist's takeover, and a key activist dropped its opposition to the deal.
Institutional Shareholder Services recommended the deal, which had been challenged by key Bristol-Myers shareholders Starboard Value and Wellington Management, ahead of the April vote.