Another Acceleron investor opposes terms of Merck takeover

Nov. 3, 2021

Another top holder in Acceleron Pharma, Farallon Capital Management, has opposed Merck & Co.'s proposed $11.5 billion takeover, saying the sale price undervalues the Massachusetts-based rare disease drugmaker.

Farallon, which owns more than a 4% stake in Acceleron, said in an emailed statement that it doesn’t support the $180 per share offer.

Merck agreed to buy Acceleron in September in pharma's first mega-deal of the year. The deal is aimed at helping Merck accelerate its rare disease portfolio. In particular, Acceleron is developing a drug called sotatercept for pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare condition caused by high pressure in blood vessels that impact the lungs.

Merck expects the deal to close by year-end but needs a majority of Acceleron’s shareholders to tender their shares in order to proceed.

Shareholders aren't making it easy: Avoro Capital Advisors, which owns about 7% of Acceleron; Darwin Global Management, which owns 3.8%; and Holocene Advisors which owns 1.4%; have opposed the deal, with the latter two outright saying they won’t tender shares.