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Micromet shareholders seek to stop merger

A group of Micromet shareholders have requested that a pending merger between Micromet and Amgen be canceled. Amgen has offered to buy the Rockville, Maryland based Micromet for about $1.16 billion, but Micromet's shareholders say that their company has too readily accepted the terms of Amgen's proposal without trying to secure a better offer from the large biotech company.

According to the Associated Press, the current sales terms would see Amgen purchasing Micromet stock at approximately $11 per share. The Micromet shareholders disagreed with attorneys from both companies over whether a more profitable deal could have been negotiated. This represents just one of eight class action lawsuits filed in response to the planned merger, which Amgen announced in early 2012. While the Vice Chancellor, who heard the over two hours of arguments for and against the proposal, has yet to issue a decision, he will need to take action before Amgen's offer expires.

In another related case, one Micromet shareholder said that "the consideration to be paid to the class members is unfair and grossly inadequate." He added that, given the possibility for growth and past performance by the company, "the intrinsic value of the stock of Micromet is materially in excess of $11 per share." The shareholder accused insiders at Micromet and Amgen of fixing the offered amount "arbitrarily" and suggested that Micromet should have allowed other potential buyers to make bids, something he says the Maryland company failed to do by blocking such companies from accessing data need to make an offer. That case is still pending in U.S. District Court in Maryland.

Amgen defended its offer, noting that $11 per share is 33 percent more than Micromet's closing price the day before the acquisition plan was announced. The company's closing share price has since risen to $10.99. "We believe Amgen is paying a full and attractive price to Micromet shareholders," said a representative from the company.

Source: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, "Micromet Shareholders Seeking to Torpedo $1.16B Amgen Merger," Feb. 28, 2012

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