Exclusive: Sanofi to unveil challenge to Medivation's board - sources

Wed May 25, 2016 12:37am EDT
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By Greg Roumeliotis

(Reuters) - France's Sanofi SA (SASY.PA: Quote) is preparing to name candidates it will put forward to replace the entire board of U.S. cancer drug company Medivation Inc MDVN.O as early as Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter.

Sanofi has threatened to oust the board after Medivation rejected its unsolicited $9.3 billion acquisition offer late last month, taking advantage of a so-called 'written consent' rule that gives Medivation shareholders the ability to act at any time to replace directors.

Medivation has declined to engage in sale talks with Sanofi unless the latter raises its $52.50 per share cash offer first, sources have said. The French drugmaker has said it is willing to raise its bid only after Medivation engages with it in negotiations.

Medivation shares ended trading on Tuesday in New York at $61.91.

Among Sanofi's eight nominees are Michael Campbell, the former chief executive of Arch Chemicals Inc, Ronald Rolfe, a retired partner at law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, and Barbara Deptula, a former executive vice president and chief corporate development officer of biopharmaceutical company Shire Plc (SHP.L: Quote), one of the people said.

The sources asked not to be identified because the names of the nominees have not been disclosed. Medivation and Sanofi representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Medivation has signed non-disclosure agreements to share confidential information with other pharmaceutical companies interested in an acquisition, including Pfizer Inc (PFE.N: Quote) and Amgen Inc (AMGN.O: Quote), sources told Reuters earlier this month.

However, no other company is close to tabling an offer for Medivation, according to the sources.   Continued...

French multinational pharmaceutical company SANOFI logo is seen at the headquarters in Paris, France, March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo