Valeant, Ackman's Pershing eye shakeup to Allergan board

Thu May 8, 2014 11:37am EDT
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By Rod Nickel and Ashutosh Pandey

(Reuters) - Deal-making drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO: Quote) (VRX.N: Quote), together with activist investor Pershing Square, plan to push for changes on the board of Allergan Inc (AGN.N: Quote), which Valeant hopes to acquire.

Billionaire Bill Ackman's hedge fund Pershing Square - which owns nearly 10 percent of Allergan - and Valeant will pursue "at the appropriate time" a special shareholder meeting to remove some or all directors on Allergan's board, Valeant Chief Financial Officer Howard Schiller said Thursday on a conference call about the company's quarterly results.

In the meantime, Valeant has been meeting with shareholders of Allergan, some of whom overlap with Valeant's investors. Valeant said that it, together with Pershing, would seek a referendum of Allergan shareholders on support for its board to hold talks with Valeant.

"It's clear that they really see the compelling nature of the transaction and we have strong, strong support to get this deal done," said Valeant Chief Executive Michael Pearson.

"Their shareholders are speaking, and our shareholders are speaking, that they want us to focus on this and get it done and that's what we intend to do."

An Allergan spokesman declined to comment.

According to Allergan's bylaws, the company will call a special meeting upon the written request of investors holding at least 25 percent of Allergan's outstanding shares of common stock.

A series of agreed or proposed drug company deals may herald a new era of acquisitions not seen in the sector since last decade.   Continued...