Elan affirms start of sale process

Irish bio-tech company Elan looks set to be sold, with management sensationally announcing yesterday that it has authorised a formal sale process to commence.

Elan affirms start of sale process

Earlier this week, the Dublin-headquartered firm said it had received several unsolicited “corporate enquiries” and had instructed its advisors — which include Davy Corporate Finance, Citigroup, Ondra Partners, Morgan Stanley and A&L Goodbody — to assess all expressions of interest that reflect “the intrinsic value” of the firm.

Since February, Elan has been battling to stave off a hostile bid from US intellectual property firm Royalty Pharma and said that Royalty’s latest bid, which could have seen it pay up to $8bn (€6bn) for the company, was “wholly inadequate”.

A spokesperson for Elan declined to give further information about what approaches had been made, but said that, as of yesterday afternoon, Monday morning’s shareholder vote on recently announced proposals is still due to proceed.

Elan did say that Royalty will be invited to participate in the sales process “if they so wish”. But the Irish firm also urged its shareholders not to tender into the current Royalty offer.

“As previously stated, the Elan board and management are aligned in maximising the full value potential of the business, on behalf of its shareholders,” Elan said.

Royalty was quick to react to Elan’s announcement, yesterday, noting that “Elan shareholders should realise that Elan has only announced a sale process because of Royalty Pharma’s offer”.

It added that neither Elan nor any of its advisers had contacted it and said “there can be no assurance that any sale process…will be fair and realistic”.

“The only thing that is certain for Elan shareholders is Royalty Pharma’s cash- confirmed offer for $13 per share, plus a $2.50 contingent value right. If shareholders want to have the option to choose between Royalty Pharma’s offer or a sale process, they should vote against all four of Elan’s proposals, especially the share re-purchase programme,” Royalty chief, Pablo Legorreta said.

Elan’s share price was up by over 8% yesterday in Dublin, at just over €10.

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