Irish biotech group Elan puts itself on the block after advising against hostile bid from RP Management

Irish biotechnology firm Elan Corp plc (NYSE:ELN) said it was launching a formal sale given expressions of interest it had received and would invite hostile suitor RP Management LLC (Royalty Pharma) to take part in the process.

Elan also once again advised against acceptance of the US investor’s bid, which is subject to the target’s shareholders rejecting four proposed defensive deals at a meeting set for today.

Royalty Pharma is carrying out the bid, which runs until 24 June, via unit Echo Pharma Acquisition Ltd. In addition to the proposed per-share cash price of USD13.00 (EUR9.75), Elan’s shareholders are offered also one contingent value right worth up to USD2.50 a share, which gives the bid a potential total value of USD8bn, according to Reuters. The US firm has said it would use available resources and debt to finance the transaction.

Royalty Pharma said last Friday, it estimates, based on votes already cast, that only one of the four resolutions – a stock buyback programme – had majority backing, which, however, was slim and could be overturned following the ordinary stockholders’ vote.

The suitor was granted last Thursday court injunction in Ireland, allowing it to appeal the country’s takeover watchdog’s denial of its request not to be required to withdraw its hostile bid if any of the ELND005 transaction or the stock buyback programme subject to the shareholder vote is approved. The court is to meet again Wednesday. If the Irish Takeover Panel’s ruling remains in force, the suitor will have to lapse its offer if any of the four defensive deals wins Elan’s shareholders’ backing.

Elan is being advised by Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), Davy Corporate Finance Ltd, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Ondra Partners, A&L Goodbody and Cadwalader Wickersham and Taft LLP.

99p Stores to expand

99p Stores are set to double in size with the help extended banking facilities of over £20m. Thanks to Barclay’s bank the high street retailer will be expanding into Ireland.

 

As a result, the retailer has moved all of its operational banking across to Barclays Corporate in recognition of the bank’s support for its ambitious growth plans.

 

The facilities will support the opening of between 40-50 new stores a year, the first of which have already opened the doors to customers in Letchworth, Stowmarket, Swindon, Weston-Super-Mare, Yeovil, Bishops Stortford and Colchester. The first of two Irish stores under the new brand ‘€uro 50 Stores’ opened in Dublin this morning and a second in Balbriggan is due to open later this month. A further 20 are planned in the next 12 months.

 

Glen McDonald, Relationship Director in Barclays Corporate’s Retail and Wholesale team said: “99p Stores and Family Bargains is a fantastic success story in what is a very challenging environment for retailers. The management’s ambitious growth plans to double the businesses’ size and expand overseas are testament to their success, and will ultimately create many new and much-needed jobs”.

 

Nadir Lalani, Chief Executive Officer, 99p Stores Limited said: “I am excited about moving to Barclays Corporate and look forward to working with them in the future as we continue to expand our businesses”.

 

99p Stores Limited, based in Swan Valley, Northampton, was founded by entrepreneur, Nadir Lalani, in January 2001. He opened his first store in Holloway, London and continued to open three further stores later that year. The company has enjoyed rapid growth and now has 150 outlets including 12 Family Bargains which offer a broader range of general merchandise including toys and soft furnishings.