Shares of drug maker Cypress Bioscience, Inc. (Nasdaq: CYPB) rallied as much as 41 percent from Friday’s closing price, in morning trading on Monday after hedge fund, Ramius offered to buy the company for about $154 million, or $4.00 a share in cash.
Ramius currently owns 9.9 percent of Cypress’ common stock. The offer of $4.00 per share is a 60 percent premium over Friday’s closing price of $2.50.
In addition to the all-cash offer, Ramius also stated that it would consider an acquisition structure that would allow management to continue the development of the recently acquired antipsychotic drug, BL-1020 if they are able to fund the required financing for the Phase IIb trial themselves or from a third party financing source.
In late June, Cypress Bioscience, Inc. entered into an exclusive North American license for the development and commercialization of BioLineRx’s novel antipsychotic, BL-1020, a treatment for schizophrenia. Specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the total upfront payment to BioLineRx was $30 million, with total potential clinical and regulatory milestones of up to $160 million through to approval in the United States, potential commercial milestones of $85 million, and a potential additional $90 million associated with approval for additional indications in the United States or for approval in other countries in North America. Cypress also agreed to fund all continuing development activities and pay BioLineRx a royalty based on applicable sales.
Ramius said poor decisions by Cypress management has damaged its stock price and that the company should hold off on making any further acquisitions or licensing deals. Shares of Cypress Bioscience are down about 73 percent over the past 12 months.
In a letter to Cypress management, Ramius said it is “ready, willing, and able to close this transaction expeditiously and expect the board to retain a reputable investment bank to immediately engage in discussions with us and any other potential acquirers to maximize value for all shareholders.”