Royalty Pharma to take bid plans direct to Elan investors

City A.M. Reporter
US investment firm Royalty Pharma yesterday stood by its offer to acquire Irish drugmaker Elan, which has rejected the approach, and said it was ready to move quickly and could complete due diligence within 20 days.

The firm is scheduling meetings with 10 to 15 of Elan’s largest shareholders, including Johnson & Johnson, as well as a few smaller investors, over the next several days, said Royalty boss Pablo Legorreta.

“We are very confident that our offer gives Elan shareholders a very attractive alternative,” Legorreta said. “We really need access to the books to do due diligence.”

Royalty Pharma made a $6.6bn (£4.39bn) approach last week after Elan announced last month a $3.2bn plan to sell its 50 per cent stake in multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri to its US partner, Biogen Idec.

Elan rejected Royalty Pharma and on Monday sweetened its offer to its shareholders, saying it would give them 20 per cent of future royalties from Tysabri. It had already planned to return $1bn to shareholders after the drug sale.

“The ‘proposal’ by Royalty Pharma remains an indication of interest, is highly conditional, and may or may not lead to an offer being made for the entire issued share capital of the company,” Elan said in a statement yesterday.