HGS sets deadline for bids: Come and get it!

As if ringing a dinner bell and saying "Come and get it!" Human Genome Sciences ($HGSI) has set a July 16 deadline for someone to come in and save it from the hostile takeover from its long-time partner GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK).

Human Genome has invited GSK to participate in the auction, something the U.K. company has previously turned its nose up at, saying its $13-a-share, $2.6 billion offer is fair, Reuters reports. However, GSK just had to extend its offer until June 29, because it was only able to pick up about 1% of HGS shares in the first round, an indication that shareholders don't really see a reason not to hold out for more.

Human Genome executives have said they have interest from other potential buyers but the deadline perhaps suggests that those lookers are not terribly eager. Some experts have said that because of the tight relationship the company has with GSK involving the lupus drug Benlysta and other shared products, it might be difficult for another buyer to get the full value out HGS.

HGS swallowed a poison pill, a plan that dilutes shares if any one buyer gets 15% of the company, making a takeover more expensive, but HGS can accept any bids its likes, even GSK's if it comes to that.

- here's the Reuters story