Activist investor Carl Icahn -- who's lately been busy shaking things up at
-- hasn't forgotten about his biotech interests. His investment outfit has sued
to get its hands on internal company documents related to its for-sale process last fall.
On Tuesday, the judge in the Delaware Chancery Court made a ruling from the bench in favor of Icahn, according to a note Bear Stearns analyst Mark Schoenebaum sent to investors.
Last week, Icahn Capital disclosed that it had increased its holding in Biogen to 9.9 million shares on March 31, from 8.2 million shares at the end of 2007. Icahn, who has challenged the integrity of Biogen's search for suitors and attempts to deliver optimum shareholder value, is lobbying for three board seats ahead of the company's annual shareholder meeting on June 19.
Earlier in May, Biogen mailed out proxy materials, including a letter urging shareholders to reject Icahn's nominees. Icahn's pursuit of Biogen documents and subsequent attempt to uncover wrongdoing is another piece of the pending board-seat battle -- and in turn, his intended sale of the company.
But Tuesday's court ruling might not be of much help.
Schoenebaum said in his note that as he understands it Icahn's lawyers will now present an order to the judge with specifics -- and if the judge agrees, Biogen will surrender the documents. While the analyst's team believes Icahn's lawyers will probably get to the documents before the June meeting, he notes that they can't be made public without the judge's OK.
"In order to broadly influence the shareholder vote, we believe
a document supporting Icahn's charges, if one exists would need to be made public well ahead of the June 19th shareholder meeting," wrote Schoenebaum. "Thus, we believe the Judge's decision has only modestly changed the probability that Icahn's director slate is nominated."
Icahn's biotech sale-pushing experience includes MedImmune last year, which was in turn acquired by
for $15.2 billion in cash.
Recent biotech deals like Takeda's $9 billion takeout of
may be eating away at Icahn who has long lobbied to put Biogen on the block.
Biogen shares ended Wednesday's session down 2.3% at $61.62.