PFE gives ICGN shareholders last chance to accept $56M deal

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Nearly one-third of Icagen (NASDAQ:ICGN) shareholders have yet to accept Pfizer‘s (NYSE:PFE) $56 million offer for the pain drug development company and the pharmaceutical giant is giving them one last chance.

The expiration date for the offer at $6 per share in cash has been extended one week. But Pfizer, which extended its tender offer twice before securing the more than half needed to pull off the deal, said there will be no further adjustments.

“The subsequent offering period is now scheduled to expire at 6 p.m., New York City time, on Monday, Sept. 19, 2011, and will not be extended again,” the company said in a statement.

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As of Sept. 12, more than 5 million shares of Durham, North Carolina-based Icagen’s common stock had been tendered for the sale. When added to the more than 1 million Icagen shares already owned by Pfizer, the total represents approximately 67.2 percent of outstanding shares in the firm. Shares tendered during the extended offering period may not be withdrawn. Icagen shareholders who do not tender their shares won’t be paid for them until Pfizer’s Icagen acquisition is complete.

Some shareholders have contested Pfizer’s offer for Icagen as too low and claimed  that   Pfizer undervalued the drug pipeline of Icagen’s potential pain treatments. Two institutional investors, Merlin Nexus and New Leaf Venture Partners, claimed Icagen’s value could be as high as $19 per share  — up to $165 million. Before Pfizer’s interest in Icagen became public in June, Icagen traded at around $2.40 per share.

Icagen disclosed in securities filings  that it had sought a buyer for years. But Icagen’s search came up empty until earlier this year when Pfizer, a drug partner financing R&D on the company’s pain drug candidates, made an offer.

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By Frank Vinluan

Frank Vinluan is the North Carolina Bureau Chief for MedCity News.
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