Big-name pharmas peer at Amylin's books to prep for bids

A who's who of drugmakers are eyeing Amylin Pharmaceuticals ($AMLN) for a possible buyout. As Bloomberg reports, the world's biggest drugmakers have lined up to take a look at Amylin's books as the U.S.-based company prepares to entertain a first round of bids.

Among the Amylin shoppers are 6 of the Big Pharmas: Pfizer ($PFE), AstraZeneca ($AZN), Sanofi ($SNY), Merck ($MRK), Roche ($RHHBY) and Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY). Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical is also checking the company's stats, sources tell Bloomberg.

The attraction? Amylin makes diabetes drugs. Its small stable--Byetta and its long-acting cousin Bydureon--promises billions in eventual sales, in a therapeutic category that's growing worldwide. Amylin had been scouting for a marketing partner for Bydureon after its longtime collaboration with Eli Lilly ($LLY) dissolved late last year.

"Diabetes is an area companies either want a position in or want a stronger position in," Deutsche Bank's Mark Clark told the news service, adding that an Amylin buy wouldn't be "a massive financial stretch." The company has a market cap of more than $4 billion, Bloomberg figures.

You'll recall that Amylin turned away a $3.5 billion bid from Bristol-Myers earlier this year, a move that drew the ire of activist investor and Amylin shareholder Carl Icahn. After the Bristol bid news broke, Amylin brought in Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs to help evaluate its buyout options, Bloomberg says.

- read the Bloomberg coverage