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The Associated Press March 31, 2010, 1:57PM ET

Astellas extends offer to buy OSI Pharmaceuticals

Japanese drugmaker Astellas Pharma Inc. said Wednesday it will extend into April its all-cash tender offer for shares of OSI Pharmaceuticals.

Astellas made a hostile bid to acquire the Melville, N.Y., drugmaker earlier this month after OSI rejected its $3.5-billion offer as too low.

Astellas' $52-per-share offer was set to expire at midnight Wednesday but was extended to April 23. Astellas said 37,858 OSI shares had been tendered as of Tuesday.

OSI Pharmaceuticals has about 58.3 million shares outstanding.

Astellas had attempted to acquire OSI for more than a year and after repeated rejections filed suit to prevent OSI's board from interfering. Astellas has given OSI a slate of independent directors to consider at its annual shareholder meeting, but OSI contends the nominees' mandate is to support the Astellas takeover.

On Monday, Astellas said it signed a confidentiality agreement with OSI. Under the agreement, OSI will provide Astellas with access to certain nonpublic information. Astellas, in turn, will not acquire any OSI shares, take any action on the lawsuit or file a proxy statement in connection until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time May 15.

OSI focuses on treatments for cancer, diabetes and obesity. Astellas has said the two companies will do better developing oncology drugs as a combination rather than separately, and the deal will help Astellas become an oncology leader.

OSI shares fell 12 cents to $59.94 in Wednesday afternoon trading.

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