Valeant trumps Endo with $10.96 billion bid for Salix Pharma

Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:35pm EDT
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By Ankur Banerjee and Rod Nickel

(Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO: Quote)(VRX.N: Quote) increased its offer for Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc SLXP.O to $10.96 billion in cash on Monday, eclipsing Endo International Plc (ENDP.O: Quote), the only other bidder.

The maker of gastrointestinal drugs has agreed to Valeant's new offer of $173 a share, up from a bid of $158 per share in cash made late last month, the two companies said in a joint statement.

Salix would be the largest purchase ever made by Canada-based Valeant, whose growth has been fueled by acquisitions and cost-cutting. The acquisition would offer solace for dealmaking Valeant Chief Executive Michael Pearson, whose hostile bid for Allergan Inc (AGN.N: Quote) failed last year.

It would also boost investor Bill Ackman, who announced last week he had bought a more than $3 billion stake in Valeant after having worked with the company on the Allergan bid.

Still, the deal would sharply raise Valeant's debt, and it is buying a company that last year was forced to slash its full-year earnings forecast.

The short bidding war for Salix pitted Valeant's Pearson against his former protege, Endo Chief Executive Rajiv De Silva.

Salix shares rose 2 percent to $172.75 on the Nasdaq on Monday, while Valeant's U.S.-listed shares gained 2.5 percent to $202.34.

Endo shares climbed 2.7 percent on the Nasdaq to $89.65.   Continued...

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