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Bidvest bids R4-billion for Adcock to counter CFR

A consortium led by Bidvest Group, South Africa’s second-biggest company by revenue, offered to buy a 34.5% stake in Adcock Ingram Holdings, countering a bid by CFR Pharmaceuticals.

Bidvest and privately-held Community Investment Holdings is offering R70 a share in cash, valuing the stake at R4-billion ($393-million), Johannesburg-based Bidvest said in an emailed statement on Monday. Bidvest already owns about 4% of Adcock, excluding treasury shares.

Santiago-based CFR bid R12.6-billion in cash and stock for all of Adcock last month, a proposal that has been recommended by the Adcock board. Bidvest’s offer, which comes about two weeks before Adcock shareholders will vote on CFR’s transaction, is about 13% higher than its attempt in March to buy a 60% stake in the Johannesburg-based pharmaceutical company.

The Public Investment Corp, South Africa’s state-owned pension fund manager and the biggest shareholder in Adcock and Bidvest, hasn’t given its support for the CFR deal.

"Given CIH’s strong pharmaceutical credentials and Bidvest’s track record of value enhancing investments and strong empowerment credentials, we believe that the consortium has the credentials to add value to Adcock, something which is clearly required," Bidvest chief executive Brian Joffe said in the statement.

Adcock will maintain its primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, according to the statement from Bidvest and CIH. CIH is a 100% black-owned company, operating in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, and has interests in health care, technology and communications, logistics, mining and power and energy sector, it said. – Bloomberg

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