Actelion shares gain on more takeover talk

ZURICH (BestGrowthStock) – Shares in Actelion (ATLN.VX: ) rose nearly 2 percent on Friday, as traders said U.S.-listed Amgen (AMGN.O: ) may bid up to 9 billion Swiss francs ($9.4 billion) for the Swiss biotech group this weekend.

On Wednesday, Actelion said it was in ‘regular dialogue’ with other industry players following a report Amgen, the world’s largest biotech, could make an offer as soon as this week.

“The continuing press coverage convinces us that Actelion is in play,” Kepler analysts, which expect a deal at 69 Swiss francs per share, wrote in a note on Friday.

“While we expect a full takeover by a big-cap pharma company in our base scenario, we also remind investors that in addition to white knights, other people may also knock at the gate,” Kepler also said.

Actelion shares were up 1.9 percent at 57.05 francs at 0954 GMT, outperforming a slightly lower Stoxx 600 European Healthcare index (.SXDP: )

Speculation that Actelion, which specializes in pulmonary arterial hypertension drugs and has a market capitalization of $7.1 billion, might be bought began to swirl more than a month ago, following a series of drug setbacks.

Its shares have climbed more than 40 percent since early October.

Actelion was not available for comment on Friday.

Chief Executive Officer Jean Paul Clozel told Reuters in October that remaining independent was the best way to create value for shareholders.

(Reporting by Catherine Bosley and Rupert Pretterklieber; Editing by Erica Billingham)

Actelion shares gain on more takeover talk