Icahn throws wrench into ImClone offer

Carl Icahn has spoken--and he's not satisfied. Bristol-Myers Squibb's $4.5 billion bid for ImClone, he says, is too low. And he's not just a big shareholder, he's ImClone's chairman.

The rest of the board weighed in, too, saying that though it's considering the offer, it also feels the $60-per-share price is too low. Investors appear to agree; they've been buying the shares like crazy, pushing up the price by almost 38 percent.

Complicating matters is the fact that ImClone's board had been chewing over a plan to split the company into two parts: One to manufacture Erbitux, the other to develop the meds in its pipeline. That plan, the board said, could boost shareholder value by itself.

And then there's Icahn saying he's "disturbed" by an unidentified company director who many have given BMS info about ImClone's pipeline and about the plans for the breakup. Apparently, there's an antibody in the pipeline that may have a "significant competitive effect" on Erbitux--and though Bristol has joint marketing rights on Erbitux, it may not have rights to that new prospect.

- see ImClone's release
- read the New York Times story
- check out the Wall Street Journal Health Blog item