The consensus seems to be leaning toward a buyout if you read all the boards. I'd also say the majority seem to think Merck. I, on the other hand, have decided (at least for today) that it won't be a buyout and it won't be Merck.
The reason for today's definitive decision (that will likely change again tomorrow when I read an interesting response to the contrary) is the wording from the letter and FAQ. I know everyone likes to find that sentence or phrase that only they and Sherlock Holmes would catch that indicates a buyout is afoot. But check out the enormous amount of references to the long term value or long term plans that Cytodyn has.
"benefit the company for years to come"
"position us for near-term and long-term success"
"we believe could be attractive to a partner and position the Company for a greater chance of success within the MASH space" (after a trial qualifies as long-term)
"We also began development of a longer-acting therapeutic with a partner" (another long-term outlook, though this wouldn't stop an acquiring company)
"may provide significant increases in shareholder value in the years to come"
"scheduled a final hearing date (August 12, 2024) in the arbitration" (not sure if this changes anything for an acquiring company where they'd have to wait)
"the Company will be evaluating the various potential indications for leronlimab to maximize the effective and efficient use of our resources" (that sounds like future planning)
"we have made and continue to pursue, our company is positioned for long-term success"
"This FAQ supplement is something we intend to update from time to time" (why commit to something that isn't necessary in a couple months time if we're about to be acquired)
"current team stands ready to implement the best strategies to maximize shareholder value in the near- and long-term"
"we will continue to focus on a multiple therapeutic development approach to leronlimab" (says partnerships versus buyout to me)
"we will continue to evaluate pre-clinical combination therapy trials in MASH and oncology." (could it be that our main partner will be for HIV then?)
"Positive developments in the foregoing initiatives could also result in more substantive interest from third parties" (isn't this a way of saying we aren't quite in the crosshairs yet?)
In my greatest "looks like heroin, Gene" from Fletch voice...
Looks like partnership, Gene.
Why the secrecy surrounding the AI partnership? Why not announce it, huh? Couldn't that be because of the AI company in Cytodyn's backyard that also works closely with Merck, ya dingus?
Well, yeah. It could be.
What if this heavy focus on HIV through the hold release saga, along with the mentions of finding or unlocking partners in Mash and Oncology, means we're getting an HIV partner rather than a buyout...and that partner is...
Because guess who strengthened their relationship in a big way with an AI partner back in July?
(I don't recall when our secret agreement was announced but it wasn't that long ago, and this timing could also explain why Cytodyn couldn't announce their partnership for fears of Respert making an easy connection between HIV talks, AI partners, and Gilead)
Cognizant will manage Gilead's global IT infrastructure while leading digital transformation initiatives designed to enhance overall client experience and enable faster time to market for Gilead products.
TEANECK, N.J., July 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) today announced an expansion of its relationship with Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD). Gilead is a leading biopharmaceutical company advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases. Under the agreement, Cognizant will manage Gilead's global IT infrastructure, platforms, applications and advanced analytics, and lead initiatives designed to accelerate its digital transformation. The agreement includes renewal and expansion of Cognizant services for a total expected value of $800 million over the next five years. This collaboration is aimed at enabling Gilead to streamline various parts of its business with the goal of faster time to market of various medicines for life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis, and cancer.