Adcock jumps on Bidvest news

Johannesburg - Shares of South Africa's Adcock Ingram surged more than 4 percent in early trade on Friday on news top shareholder Bidvest Group is looking to raise its stake in the drugmaker.

Bidvest, a conglomerate with businesses ranging from mops to shipping, owns 34.5 percent of Adcock, South Africa's second-largest drugmaker. Bidvest intends to increase that to more than 50 percent, according to a document from South Africa's competition regulator seen by Reuters on Thursday.

File photo: Leon Nicholas. Credit: Independent Newspapers

“The Bidvest bid has involved two stages. The second stage is to acquire further shares beyond the 34.5 percent, which presumably, depending on the take-up of the offer, would take Bidvest's holding to above 50 percent,” the document said.

Bidvest Chief Executive Brian Joffe has been trying to take control of Adcock since March 2013, seeing a chance to turn around another underperformer and add painkillers to a wide variety of products.

Joffe went direct to Adcock shareholders in December last year with a 4 billion rand ($371 million) cash offer for the initial 34.5 percent, sinking a rival bid from Chile's CFR Pharmaceuticals.

Adcock shares were up 4.7 percent at 51.28 rand at 0725 GMT, while Bidvest shares were up 0.5 percent at 291.43 rand.