Cephalon isn't going to be an easy mark for would-be buyer Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Despite perceived weakness in the wake of its founder's death, Cephalon is rejecting Valeant's $73-per-share bid as "opportunistic" and much too cheap. So, Valeant chief J. Michael Pearson has a fight on his hands.
If Pearson wants to follow through, then he may have to set aside his desire to wrap up a deal quickly, analysts said. Cowen & Co's Eric Schmidt figures that Valeant will have to raise its price to $75 to $80 per share--and that the back-and-forth "will take a couple months," Bloomberg reports. "There will be a dance and courtship and there will be a deal at the end of that process," Schmidt said.
But Pearson has already made his next move. Valeant has proposed a slate of seven new directors to replace Cephalon's board and push through a deal. "We continue to strongly believe that it is in the best interests of both Valeant's and Cephalon's stockholders to resolve this matter quickly, one way or the other," Pearson said in a statement. "Valeant will move fast. We had hoped that Cephalon would do the same. Now, it will be in the stockholders' hands."