Bristol-Myers urges shareholders to support Celgene takeover

Amid resistance from top shareholders, Bristol-Myers Squibb urged investors in a letter to support its $74 billion deal to acquire cancer drugmaker Celgene, CNBC reports.

In the letter, Bristol-Myers said its board is "confident" that the deal is the best path forward for the company as it will ensure its leadership in the rapidly growing oncology market.

"We undertook a robust and comprehensive review of our core business and strategic expansion opportunities potentially available to the company and identified the Celgene acquisition as the most attractive opportunity for shareholder value creation," the company wrote, according to CNBC.

Hedge funds Wellington Management and Starboard came out against the deal, arguing it makes Bristol shareholders assume too much risk. Wellington is Bristol's largest institutional shareholder, with 135.3 million shares. Starboard has about 1 million shares.

Over the last few weeks, Bristol-Myers has also sent executives to meet with key investors in an attempt to sway them to support the deal.

Read the full report here.


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