Alexion shoots down 'proactive' sale demand from activist investor

Alexion touted its M&A expertise in its rebuttal to the sale request. (Alexion)

Alexion has withstood its fair share of gales in recent years after a wholesale shakeup at the top and a shift toward an M&A-focused strategy underway. Now, despite one activist investor's call for a "proactive" sale, Alexion's board has decided to stay the course.

Alexion's directors opted not to pursue a sale after a "good faith" conversation with Elliott Advisors—an affiliate of infamous proxy brawler Elliott Management, which requested the sale, the company said. 

"It is highly unusual, if not unprecedented, for a biopharmaceutical company of our size and maturity to proactively launch a sale process," Alexion said in a release. "We do not believe this approach is the best path for driving shareholder value."

A spokesperson for Elliott Management could not be reached by press time. 

As part of its rebuttal to Elliott's request, the board touted its corporate strategy, including its "M&A leadership, including evaluating, negotiating and executing on numerous mergers, acquisitions and sales of major companies throughout their careers." 

RELATED: Alexion replaces CFO Clancy and his 'legendary caution.' Could an M&A spree follow?

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