Royalty drops hostile bid for Ireland's Elan

Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:57am EDT
 
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By Padraic Halpin

DUBLIN (Reuters) - U.S.-based Royalty Pharma has dropped a hostile bid worth up to $8 billion for Elan ELN.I, leaving the Irish drug maker free to seek other suitors having put itself up for sale last week.

Royalty ROYPH.UL on Tuesday withdrew its appeal against a ruling by Ireland's regulator on takeovers, meaning the offer automatically lapses and bringing an end to a bitter, four-month battle that involved court hearings, injunctions and a war of words between the two sides.

The end of that saga heralds a new takeover battle for Elan, which has invited bids and has interest from "more than one interested party," according to a source familiar with the situation.

Under Irish Takeover Panel rules, Royalty is not permitted to submit another hostile bid for Elan for 12 months once its current offer lapses. Elan has said Royalty can take part in the sale process. Royalty did not say if it intended to do so and a spokesman for the company had no further comment.

The New York-based investment firm had made its offer contingent on Elan shareholders rejecting all resolutions put to a vote at a meeting on Monday, but the owners narrowly backed one of the proposals, for a share buyback.

Royalty had said its bid should be contingent on only two of the resolutions relating to acquisitions - both of which were rejected - but the Irish Takeover Panel had said it could not modify the terms at that stage of the takeover contest.

ORIGINAL PLAN

Royalty subsequently appealed against this ruling, a move which it has now dropped.   Continued...