Alere holds firm on Axis

City A.M. Reporter
ALERE, the US medical diagnostics firm involved in a £230m hostile takeover for UK firm Axis-Shield, yesterday maintained its bid price but lowered its acceptance threshold, as it looked unlikely that the US firm will win over enough shareholders for a full takeover.

Alere, which had set 90 per cent acceptance as a condition for its bid, said it now required more than 50 per cent of voting rights, leaving them the option of becoming a majority shareholder in Axis-Shield.

Axis-Shield, in response to Alere’s statement, termed the takeover approach as “highly opportunistic” and said it was “disappointed” that the US firm had not taken notice of its previous rejections.

Alere, which increased its stake in Axis-Shield to 11.09 per cent last week, stood firm with its 460p offer for Axis-Shield. Alere needs 75 per cent acceptances to delist Axis-Shield’s London-listed shares.

“We have maintained that we would remain financially disciplined and Alere is offering shareholders 460p in cash despite significant economic uncertainty and turmoil,” Alere chief executive Ron Zwanziger.

Axis-Shield shares dived nearly 11 per cent yesterday to 405p.