Alere warns of share price fall at Axis-Shield

AXIS-SHIELD suitor Alere yesterday went on the offensive, warning Axis shareholders that their investments will “significantly” drop in value if a takeover offer is not accepted.

Alere said that the medical technology firm’s interim results last month have not changed its view of the company, and claims that the Axis shares are riding high on the back of its 460p per share offer rather than underlying fundamentals.

Axis shares fell 1.3 per cent, outperforming the FTSE All-Share, to close at 458.5p yesterday.

Alere also claimed that Axis’ operations in the US have been dealt a blow by the recent loss of Axis-Shield USA president, John Sperzel, who moved to rival ITC Nexus last week.

The Axis board has repeatedly asked shareholders to reject Alere’s offer since its approach in June.

Alere became Axis’ biggest shareholder this week after buying 1m shares from Skagen Funds. After its first acceptance deadline passed on 1 September, Alere had approvals from just one per cent of the shares it did not own.

An Axis-Shield spokesman declined to comment last night, beyond noting that Alere has until a deadline on Monday to raise its offer.