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August 2, 2010
Charles River Gives Up
So when Charles River Laboratories announced that it was buying WuXi, its stock dropped pretty sharply. But unlike many other takeovers, it never recovered, and a lot of the company's shareholders seem to have continued to be unhappy about the deal.
Unhappy enough so that on Friday the whole thing was called off. As that article makes clear, this is being seen as a particular victory for Jana, a hedge fund that's the largest single Charles River shareholder.
So where does this leave Charles River? Announcing a stock buyback plan and thinking about what the heck to do next. And where does it leave WuXi? That's a tough one, too. Someone else may decide to buy them (someone for whom it won't be as much of a stretch (and as hard a sell for the investors). But the price probably won't be as good this time around, at least not if an attempted deal happens in the near future. Or they may decide that it's time that they try to become the First Great Chinese Pharma Company. It's going to be a while before anything's clear - other than the fact that this particular deal isn't going through, that is. . .
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