Astellas still eyeing CV; Sun, Taro start talking

Here's your daily deal update: Astellas Pharma says it plans to keep pursuing CV therapeutics despite its rejection of a $1 billion offer. And Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Taro Pharmaceutical Industries are reportedly in "direct compromise talks" to finally craft a workable buyout.

As you know, CV Therapeutics publicly stiff-armed Astellas Friday, saying the $16 per share offer undervalues the company. CV had already turned down the offer privately, back in November, but said it might reconsider after its Tokyo-based suitor made the offer public last month. The $16 price represents a 41 percent premium on CV's Jan. 26 closing price, the last day of trading before the offer was made public. Friday, the stock closed at $15.52.

Meanwhile, Globes news service is reporting that Sun CEO Dilip Shanghvi and Taro chairman Barrie Levitt met in Israel last week to discuss a compromise deal. A representative of Franklin Templeton--a U.S. financial firm that owns 13.1 percent of Taro--also attended the mediation session.

It's the latest twist in a long dealmaking saga. Sun offered to buy Taro back in January 2008 for $9.50 per share, but Levitt demanded $15 per share. The buyout has gone through various turns since then, including litigation, and now is under mediation by Ram Caspi, who has been meeting with both companies separately. The new talks include a possible increase in Sun's buyout offer, Globes says.

- see the Astellas/CV story from the Associated Press
- check out the Globes article