Morgan Stanley calls Valeant 'house of cards' in Allergan pitch

Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:35pm EDT
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By Soyoung Kim and Olivia Oran

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote), an adviser to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO: Quote) in its $53 billion hostile bid for Allergan Inc (AGN.N: Quote), initially tried to get hired by Allergan and in its pitch called the unsolicited bidder a "house of cards," according to Allergan.

The Botox maker released email exchanges with Morgan Stanley bankers on Monday, which reveal the bankers were pitching for a defense assignment from Allergan, offering advice as to how the company could successfully defend the unwanted suitor.

"Executives from Morgan Stanley, the investment bank understood to have recently been retained by Valeant, have sent emails directly to Allergan’s management team that suggest they share the concerns of Allergan...," the company said in a statement. (Allergan statement:

Allergan said that in a May 13 email to Chief Executive Officer David Pyott and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Edwards, Morgan Stanley's global head of M&A Robert Kindler said the company could be more aggressive in going after Valeant's business model and the value of its stock.

David Horn, a managing director at Morgan Stanley's healthcare group, followed up with an email to Edwards on May 18.

"Part of what Rob (Kindler) is suggesting (to Allergan) is to allow him to use his significant relationships with media and analysts to provide a clear and detailed articulation of why Valeant is a house of cards and your investors should not want to take their stock," Horn said in one of the email exchanges shown by Allergan.

Representatives of Morgan Stanley and Allergan declined to comment.

"Kindler is one of the best M&A bankers out there. While we will have some fun with him later, he’s still very much on our team," Valeant CEO Mike Pearson said in a statement. "It’s clear that Allergan's release is a sign of desperation, and we look forward to proving the naysayers wrong."   Continued...

The head offices of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. are seen in Laval, Quebec May 20, 2014. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi