Shire begins £358m offer for Movetis

Marion Dakers
DRUGS firm Shire launched its €19-a-share offer for Belgian gastro-intestinal specialist Movetis yesterday, as the company pushes ahead with its plans for international expansion.

Movetis investors have until 26 September to accept the offer, which values the firm at €428m (£358m) including its €100m cash pile.

Movetis management have unanimously recommended the offer to shareholders, which represents a premium of 74 per cent on stock prices before the bid was first announced on 3 August.

Institutional investors Sofinnova Partners, Sofinnova Ventures, and Life Sciences Partners, which together make up 38.9 per cent of shares, have already agreed to sell.

Shire said yesterday it believes the acquisition will make money from 2012. The tender offer is being funded by existing cash resources and executed through the company’s Luxembourg-based subsidiary.

The acquisition would give Shire the rights to Resolor, which treats chronic constipation in women in 27 countries of the European Union and elsewhere. Shire estimates potential annual peak sales of Resolor of more than €300m.

The purchase will boost the acquisitive drugmaker’s gastro-intestinal business, which is currently the smallest of its three areas of operation. The takeover is one of several deals being thrashed out in the pharmaceutical sector. French drugs giant Sanofi-Aventis said yesterday it would be prepared to moderately raise its $69 per share (£44.7) offer for Genzyme, after the US firm rejected an all-cash $18.5bn offer last week.

Shares in Shire closed 0.55 per cent up at £14.59 yesterday, while Movetis remained flat at €18.84.