/ 3 December 2013

Adcock rebuffs Bidvest, still wants Chile deal


The board of South African drugmaker Adcock Ingram said on Tuesday it believed a $1.2-billion takeover bid from Chile's CFR Pharmaceuticals was still the best option for shareholders, rebuffing a rival offer from a local suitor.

Adcock, South Africa's second-largest drug company, said industrial conglomerate Bidvest Group, had not clearly articulated the benefits of its offer.

Bidvest on Monday challenged CFR's $1.2-billion takeover bid for Adcock on two fronts – seeking nearly a third of Adcock's shares and launching a court order against the offer.

Bidvest had previously attempted to acquire a controlling stake in the underperforming drugmaker, but its original bid was dismissed by Adcock's board as "opportunistic".

If Bidvest is successful in raising its Adcock stake from 4% now, it could thwart the CFR takeover, which requires approval from holders of 75% of Adcock shares.

Adcock said in a statement its board believed the CFR offer was still "the most attractive opportunity for Adcock Ingram shareholders to maximise value".

It said Bidvest had not clearly articulated the benefits of its offer to shareholders, or how it would manage "potential conflicts of interest".

It did not identify those possible conflicts of interest. The company also said no legal proceedings from Bidvest had been instituted for now. – Reuters