Depomed isn't anti-takeover, CEO says. It was just anti-Horizon

SAN FRANCISCO--Let Depomed ($DEPO) be clear: it may not have been too keen on Horizon Pharma's ($HZNP) buyout offer from last year, but that doesn't mean it's opposed to a takeover.

Depomed CEO Jim Schoeneck

On the contrary, "we're open to stuff," CEO Jim Schoeneck told FiercePharma in an interview. "It really is about value and currency, and we're always open to something that can meet those hurdles."

According to Schoeneck, that's the reason Depomed held its own last year when Dublin drugmaker Horizon embarked on a hostile pursuit that stretched from July to November. The fact that the offer was stock versus cash "meant we had to evaluate where we thought their stock could be or would go."

"I was never moving to Chicago for anything anyway, nor was I holding out for a board position like some CEOs," he said.

Luckily for Depomed, though, it thinks it'll have other opportunities for a tie-up. The company is generating a lot of cash right now, Schoeneck said, and "if money gets harder to get, M&A actually goes up."

In the meantime, though, the company will keep an eye out for acquisitions of its own. Last year in the days following the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Depomed announced a pickup of Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Nucynta franchise, and if it wants to land another deal like that, it can't take a break in its search, Schoeneck figures.

"I don't think you can ever get out of the flow or you're going to miss something," he said. "We're still looking for things now that would be marketed assets."

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