Hostile Sanofi puts forth its slate of Medivation directors as Gilead, Celgene weigh their own bids

Sanofi

Sanofi ($SNY) is powering through with its hostile takeover attempt for Medivation ($MDVN)--and as it does, even more potential suitors may be weighing an entry into the fray.

Wednesday, the French pharma giant put forth a slate of 8 candidates to replace the California drugmaker’s entire board--a move it had “no choice” but to make, given Medivation’s rejection of Sanofi’s $9.3 billion offer and refusal to come to the bargaining table, CEO Olivier Brandicourt said in a statement.

Sanofi’s board nominees--Michael Campbell, Barbara Deptula, Wendy Lane, Ronald Rolfe, Steven Shulman, Charles Slacik, James Tyree and David Wilson--boast experience in pharma, finance and law, and the way the company sees it, their openness to a potential deal makes them “more open to supporting the best interests of Medivation shareholders.”

Sanofi, eager to add Medivation prostate cancer phenom Xtandi to an oncology portfolio that needs a boost, has been pursuing Medivation for months now, despite getting the cold shoulder. The San Francisco company urged its shareholders Wednesday to reject Sanofi’s attempt at a board overhaul, reiterating its opinion that the Big Pharma’s $52.50-per-share offer “substantially undervalues” it.

Meanwhile, though, other interested parties have begun lining up--and they haven’t all met with the same chilly reception. Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Medivation had opened its books up to wannabe buyers including Pfizer ($PFE) and Amgen ($AMGN)--a play Sanofi was none too happy about.

“There have been published reports that you have signed confidentiality agreements with other parties. If that is accurate, we cannot see how you have not done so with us,” Brandicourt wrote in a letter to Medivation’s board.

Unfortunately for Sanofi, the line to talk takeover with Medivation may be getting longer instead of shorter. Biotech heavyweights Celgene ($CELG) and Gilead ($GILD) are now considering making their own bids for the company, Bloomberg reported Wednesday; they join a list of rumored suitors that already includes Pfizer, Amgen, Novartis ($NVS) and AstraZeneca ($AZN).

- read Sanofi's release
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