Holocene Advisors says Merck’s offer undervalues Acceleron By Reuters

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© Reuters. The Merck logo is seen on a sign at the Merck & Co campus in Rahway, New Jersey, U.S., July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Files

(Reuters) – Investment management firm Holocene Advisors said it will not tender its shares in Acceleron Pharma (NASDAQ:) Inc into Merck & Co’s proposed $180 per share offer for the drugmaker, as it significantly undervalues the company.

Holocene owned 1.42% of Acceleron’s traded shares as of June 30, and is among the top 20 investors in the company, according to data from Refinitiv.

“A transaction now, at this price, is not compelling … (the offer) does not compensate XLRN shareholders adequately, given Acceleron’s strong pipeline and attractive long-term business prospects,” Holocene said in a statement on Wednesday.

Avoro Capital, which owns 7% of Acceleron stock along with its managed funds, had also said the deal undervalues the drugmaker.

Merck in September said it would buy Acceleron for about $11.5 billion, eyeing access to its rare disease drug candidate, sotatercept, which the company expects could bring in billions of dollars in sales.

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