Why would Carl Icahn back off a legal fight with Amylin Pharmaceuticals ($AMLN)? He's been agitating for a proxy fight ever since the news broke of Bristol-Myers Squibb's ($BMY) failed buyout bid. Neither Icahn nor Amylin CEO Daniel Bradbury is talking, because they agreed not to.
The now-dropped lawsuit sought to clear the way for Icahn to field a slate of board nominees, to pressure Amylin into a sale. In the past, Icahn has settled those contests by negotiating for board representation. But this time, the proxy fight won't even make it out of the gate.
"The decision to discontinue our lawsuit ... was the result of discussions I had with Daniel Bradbury, Amylin's chief executive officer, that we agreed would not be publicly disclosed," Icahn said in a brief statement, adding that he "continues to strongly believe" the company should be sold. Now.
The New York Times suggests that Icahn concluded his lawsuit was no longer necessary. Those "discussions" may have persuaded Icahn that Amylin is really, truly, without-a-doubt laboring to sell itself. "It would be a great acquisition for a number of big pharma companies," Icahn told Bloomberg after his announcement. We'll see which of those companies agrees.