Is BMS eyeing Elan?

Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that Bristol-Myers Squibb was looking to buy a stake in troubled Irish drugmaker Elan, causing the company's stock to soar. Citing people familiar with the matter, the WSJ said that BMS was "one of two serious contenders for a stake in Elan that could also come with board representation and an ability to take control of the company."

But now Bloomberg is reporting that BMS isn't looking to purchase a stake in the company. "BMS has confirmed to us that it is not currently in talks to buy a minority stake in Elan," Roopesh Patel and Keyur Parekh, New York-based analysts for UBS, wrote in a report today. A BMS spokesperson would not comment on the speculation.

Last month, Lundbeck's CEO Anders Gotzsche denied rumors that his company was interested in Elan, saying that Lundbeck couldn't raise enough cash to finance a deal that size. Elan retained Citigroup Global Markets in January to explore its options after the company was hit by harsh criticism of its handling of Tysabri and disappointing results on its experimental Alzheimer's drug.

- read the Bloomberg report
- here's the WSJ's article