Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Three brief items

1. Auction for Genzyme?

Genzyme Corp., a biopharm company based in Cambridge, Mass., has rejected a takeover offer from Sanofi-Aventis, the largest drug manufacturer in France.

According to a Bloomberg story, the discussions thus far have been informal, but "Sanofi may send a formal letter to Genzyme detailing its interest in an acquisition as soon as this week."

Genzyme has had the pleasure of Carl Icahn's company for some time now. Icahn curently controls two seats on the board. Icahn will surely make his views on the subject known if this does play itself out over the weeks to come.

GlaxoSmithKline is also sometimes mentioned as an interested party, so a real auction for Genzyme is a possibility.

2. Higher cross-border bid.

Alimentation Couche-Tard, the Canadian convenience store concern that owns the Circle K brand, has increased its bid for Casey's General Stores. It was bidding $36 a share in April and has now raised that to $36.75.

This values Casey's at $1.9 million, including debt says DealBook.

The offer expires at 5 PM on August 6 -- which, it so happens, is my baby sister's birthday. (Hello, Beth!)

Oh, and perhaps I' naive, but this strikes me as odd.

3. GSI Group Emerges from Chapter 11.

GSI is a multi-national family of companies that supply parts ("precision technology") to the medical, electronics, and industrial markets. Parts that, so far as I can tell, involve lasers.

Three of the entities within this family filed for chapter 11 reorganization in November 2009, in Delaware: GSI Group Inc., the parent Canadian holding company; GSI Group Corp., of Massachusetts; and MES International, Inc., a non-operating subsidiary of GSI Group Corp.

But now they have returned from that legal world of the undead to that of the truly living.

The Boston Business Journal, in May, described the descent into bankruptcy as
"a slew of regulatory and accounting setbacks that stemmed from revenue-booking practices between 2004 and 2008."

That got me curious, so I went here. Seventeen months ago, and eight months before its bankruptcy filing, GSI announced the results of an internal accounting probe and admitted to material revenue-recognition errors.

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