Bristol-Myers Squibb shares perk up as Icahn reportedly builds a stake

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Bristol-Myers Squibb saw its shares rally sharply before falling back on Tuesday after a report that billionaire investor Carl Icahn had taken a stake in the drugmaker.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Mr Icahn owns a “large stake” and believes the company has a solid drug pipeline that could make it an attractive takeover target, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The news follows an earlier announcement that Bristol had added three new directors to its board following talks with activist investor Jana Partners.

Late last year, Bristol-Myers revealed that its blockbuster immunotherapy drug Opdivo was no better than chemotherapy in a large trial of untreated lung cancer patients. Bristol-Myer’s shares, which declined 15 per cent last year are down 6.6 per cent so far this year.

The drugmaker’s shares jumped as much as 4 per cent immediately following the report, before paring those gains to trade up about 0.35 per cent at pixel time.

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