Private equity players launch sweetened bid for German drugmaker Stada

 
Lucy White
Bain and Cinven claim to have already received irrevocable commitments to accept the offer from shareholders holding 19.6 per cent of the share capital (Source: Getty)

The latest twist in the drawn-out takeover battle for German pharmaceuticals company Stada has seen its buyout group bidders up their offer.

Bain Capital and Cinven have today launched an increased bid of €66.25 per share, up €0.25 from their previous offer, and are giving shareholders until the 16 August to accept the bid.

The firms have also lowered the acceptance threshold from 67.5 per cent of shareholders to 63 per cent, after the consortium managed to scrape support from 65.52 per cent of shareholders last month.

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Bain and Cinven claim to have already received irrevocable commitments to accept the offer from shareholders holding 19.6 per cent of the share capital, while Stada issued a statement saying that both its executive and supervisory boards “expect to be able to recommend the renewed offer”.

However, this would not be a new development. Stada's boards recommended Bain and Cinven's original bid in April, after the consortium won a bidding war with rival private equity house Advent International.

Yet shareholders were reluctant to accept, forcing Bain and Cinven to lower the acceptance threshold from 75 per cent to 67.5 per cent and extend the deadline by two weeks.

Even after this period, they failed to get enough shareholders on side causing Stada's chief executive and head of finance to resign.

Under German law Bain and Cinven would have been forced to wait a year before launching a new bid, but managed to successfully appeal this ban.

The twists and turns in the tale are causing some upset for labour union IG BCE, which has threatened to resist any further takeover attempts if the latest offer fails.

“This is some high-level gambling, and Stada's employees will have to foot the bill later,” said Ralf Erkens, district chief at the union.

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