Carl Icahn is at it again, and this time his target is Amylin Pharmaceuticals. The San Diego pharma--which is Eli Lilly's partner on the diabetes med Byetta--said Icahn Capital plans to nominate a slate of directors to the company's board. Already, Amylin directors are checking out two of Icahn's nominees.
The fact that Icahn's making a play for control at Amylin isn't a huge surprise; it's his modus operandi. When he accumulated a sizable stake in the company, observers figured it was just a matter of time before he asserted himself. And Amylin's fourth-quarter report gave Icahn an excuse; according to the Associated Press, the company lost money on declining diabetes med sales and big restructuring costs. As you know, Byetta has been struggling of late because of reports of pancreatitis among some patients taking the drug.
According to Icahn's SEC filing, his group now owns 8.3 percent of the company. BNet calculates that the billionaire's stake has lost almost 58 percent of its value since last May. What could Icahn do to boost the company's fortunes, besides persuade management to sell out to Lilly? Does he have some big idea up his sleeve? Stay tuned.