Astellas aims to take over OSI board

You can't accuse Astellas Pharma of timidity. Rejected by OSI Pharmaceuticals management, Astellas took a $52-a-share hostile bid directly to the shareholders. Now that OSI's directors have scoffed at the offer--and advised shareholders not to participate--Astellas is now trying to take over the board.

Astellas has nominated 10 independent directors for consideration at the annual shareholders' meeting, saying that the current board shouldn't turn its back on a "compelling offer" for the company. OSI said that $52 bid simply isn't up to snuff, and that the nominees have only been put forward "to support Astellas in acquiring OSI at an inadequate price."

Astellas says it's just offering shareholders a choice: "We have taken this step to provide OSI's stockholders with an alternative to the current board," CEO Masafumi Nogimori says in a statement. In any case, this soap opera is developing rapidly. Will Astellas raise its bid? Will OSI find a white knight? Stay tuned.

- read the OSI release
- see Astellas' release
- get more from Reuters

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