Astellas targets CV board in buyout bid

So CV Therapeutics won't play? We'll see about that: Astellas Pharma has a bully-boy gleam in its eye. You can almost hear it saying, "You'll play, buster. So help me, you'll play." Rejected in its $1.1 billion offer to buy the company, Japan's Astellas is plotting no less than a CV Therapeutics coup.

Astellas announced that it plans to sweep CV's board room clean and start fresh with its own slate of directors. In a statement, the company said it would nominate candidates to replace CV chief Louis Lange and director Thomas Shenk--both of their terms expire this year--and would float another measure to give the boot to the rest of the board.

"While we continue to prefer a negotiated agreement with CV Therapeutics, the refusal of the Board to engage us has left us no alternative but to take our offer directly to the company's stockholders," Astellas said in its statement, "and also to ask them to elect a Board that is willing to consider opportunities to maximize value for all CV Therapeutics shareholders."

This latest move follows Astellas' courtroom bid to invalidate changes to CV Therapeutics' "poison pill" rights plan. In filing that complaint in Delaware court on Monday, Astellas asked the judge to declare a recent amendment to the plan unenforceable.

- see the Astellas statement