Royalty raises the pressure on bid target Elan

ROYALTY Pharma yesterday raised its hostile bid for Elan to $12.50 per share and heaped pressure on shareholders, saying it will withdraw the bid if they approve a series of defensive transactions announced by the Irish drug firm.

In what has become an increasingly convoluted takeover saga, Royalty Pharma, which buys royalty streams of patented drugs, said Elan’s efforts to reinvent itself through a series of acquisitions and debt deals were hasty and ill-conceived.

Earlier in the day, Elan announced its second major drug deal inside a week and said it would buy back more shares as it continues to bat against a $5.7bn takeover bid from US investor Royalty Pharma.

Having rejected several Royalty bids, the Irish drug firm has been trying to convince shareholders to do the same by returning cash and going on a spending spree that began with a $1bn drug royalties deal of its own just a week ago.

Yesterday Elan said it has now also agreed to buy two private drug firms, spin off its one experimental drug as a private company and buy back more shares to give a firmer idea of how the company will be reconfigured as shareholders weigh up the takeover bid.

Elan made its second and third purchases yesterday, buying Austrian rare drug specialist AOP Orphan for €263.5m and paying $40m for a 48 per cent stake in Dubai-based sales and marketing firm Newbridge Pharmaceuticals.