GlaxoSmithKline has confirmed it made an offer on April 11th to purchase US biopharmaceutical firm Human Genome Sciences, but has seen its bid 'rejected without discussion'.
HGS said that the UK pharmaceuticals giant had made an offer that did not reflect the "value inherent in the company".
HGS's board has authorised a review of its strategic options which include the sale of the company. GSK is one of the firms that has been invited to offer itself as a potential buyer.
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HGS emphasised that there can be no assurance that any transaction will occur as a result.
GSK, which offered $13 per HGS share valuing the company at around £2.6bn, had made clear its plans to "simplify and optimise research and development, commercial and manufacturing operations to advance these products most effectively and efficiently while securing the full potential long-term value of the assets."
The offer would be in cash and would side-step financing and due diligence conditions, the company said.
Chief Executive of GSK, Sir Andrew Witty, said: "Having worked together with Human Genome Sciences for nearly 20 years, we believe there is clear strategic and financial logic to this combination for both companies and our respective shareholders - and that now is the appropriate time in the evolution of our relationship for our two companies to combine."
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