HomeBusinessMoneyHigh stakes shoot-out for inhaler-maker Vectura canned

High stakes shoot-out for inhaler-maker Vectura canned

High stakes shoot-out for inhaler-maker Vectura canned after private equity firm Carlyle pulls out

A highly-anticipated auction to buy inhaler maker Vectura was dramatically called off at the eleventh hour last night.

Tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) and American private equity firm The Carlyle Group had been preparing to go head-to-head in a five-day bidding war, starting today, for FTSE 250-listed company Vectura.

The pair had been putting in offers for the company since May but had reached a deadlock. 

Tobacco giant Philip Morris and American private equity firm The Carlyle Group had been preparing to go head-to-head in a five-day bidding war for FTSE 250-listed company Vectura

This led all three groups to agree to a rare auction process, overseen by the Takeover Panel, which aimed to wrap up the saga.

But with just 27 minutes to go before a 5pm deadline, Carlyle withdrew from the battle by declaring its latest offer of 155p per share was the highest that it would go, scuppering the need for an auction. 

Carlyle made the approach, which values Vectura at ÂŁ958million, last Friday. But less than 48 hours later PMI leapfrogged it with a 165p offer, valuing the company at ÂŁ1.02billion.

All eyes are now on Vectura’s board which will need to weigh up the two bids.

If it goes with Carlyle, the private equity group will need to gain support from 75 per cent of shareholders.

If PMI is successful, it will only need backing from 50 per cent after it changed the structure of its offer.

Based in the Wiltshire town of Chippenham, Vectura specialises in making inhalers and nebulisers. 

The company also works with pharmaceutical companies such as Hikma and Glaxosmithkline to convert their medicines into powders that can be inhaled.

Its profile has been raised during the pandemic by its work with Inspira Pharmaceuticals to develop a Covid vaccine.

The race to buy Vectura has been one of the most controversial takeover battles in recent years.

On the one hand fears have been raised in the City that Carlyle’s interest means that it could become the latest in a string of companies to fall prey to a private equity buyout.

But the swoop by Marlboro cigarette maker PMI triggered outrage from health campaigners and politicians.

PMI says it is trying to transform into a health and wellness company as it moves away from tobacco. 

The American Lung Association said it was ‘reprehensible’ that a cigarette maker that has profited from damaging people’s lungs could buy a company that treats them.

Health experts have warned that Vectura could be blocked from taking part in research programmes with universities if it is bought by PMI.

Carlyle emphasised these points last night, saying that it believed its lower offer still provided the biggest benefits to ‘Vectura and its broader stakeholders’.

It added that it believed its tie-up would offer ‘significant opportunity to Vectura’s many employees (particularly Vectura’s leading scientists), suppliers, customers and research partners’.

Stay Connected
16,985FansLike
7,548FollowersFollow
52,146FollowersFollow
2,458FollowersFollow
spot_img
Must Read
You might also like

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here