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Sarissa Capital Issues Open Letter Regarding Astex Pharmaceuticals
Date:10/2/2013

ng three year standstill and the fact that under the agreement, bidders could not even ask to modify the terms!).

Astex's latest disclosures include many amendments and corrections to their previous version of events that led to the proposed transaction that increase our concerns about the integrity of the process and their apparent cavalier attitude toward disclosing important facts.

While the $2 million "merger success bonus" provided to the CEO of Astex for consummating the Otsuka transaction was previously disclosed, we recently learned that Otsuka expects to offer senior management "compensation opportunities GREATER than those currently available at Astex" if they complete the deal and would allow them to participate in a long-term compensation program that would "provide for significant compensation incentives"!  These offers are extraordinarily upsetting and suggest to us that the management was not and cannot be objective about this proposed transaction.   Also, we believe that the fact this information has just become public suggests they were trying to hide important issues about the motivations of senior management and the inadequacy of the proposed merger process.

As shareholders, we benefit from extending the offer period as long as possible.  Importantly, under the Otsuka merger agreement, if a minimum number of shares are not tendered on October 10, Otsuka must extend the offer for a period of at least 10 business days and must then extend the offer for a second 10 business day period if this minimum condition is again not satisfied after the expiration of the first extension.  This process at least offers an opening to potential bidders who were shut out or wary of the process to engage with the company.  We are reaching out to potential bidders who we believe were left out of the process.  Bizarrely, Astex only just yesterday released a potential bidder from the standstill where they could not
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SOURCE Sarissa Capital
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