BMS in $2 Billion accelerated share repurchase program, names 3 new directors

Bristol-Myers Squibb has entered into an ASR program with each of Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Goldman, Sachs & Co. to repurchase, in aggregate, $2 billion of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s common stock, and it has named three new directors.

The company now has 14 directors, with only 11 being eligible to keep on their positiones after the AGM to be held in May, when the board’s chairman Lamberto Andreotti will step down.

The company has appointed Robert J. Bertolini, Matthew W. Emmens, and Theodore R. Samuelsto its Board.

The company expects the new directors to bring experience from pharmaceutical sector and capital markets.

Giovanni Caforio, M.D., chief executive officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb, is looking to build the growth around immuno-oncology drugs, including Opdivo, as well as Eliquis and Orencia.

“We are committed to advancing the promising opportunities represented by our portfolio and pipeline in oncology as well as continuing our efforts to diversify through promising pipeline agents in heart failure, immunoscience and fibrosis.” 

Bristol-Myers Squibb noted that, since JANA Partners LLC (JANA) became a Bristol-Myers Squibb shareholder in the fourth quarter of 2016, members of the Board and management have engaged in discussions with representatives of JANA to better understand their views. Today’s Board appointments follow discussions between the two parties regarding the Board, the company said.

The company said it expects to fund the repurchase with a combination of debt and cash, and abotu 80% of the shares to be repurchased under the transaction will be received by Bristol-Myers Squibb on last day of February 2017. The total number of repurchased shares repurchased will be decided after the final settlement.

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