Bidvest, Adcock takeover war gets nasty

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Johannesburg - Bidvest Group Ltd., a South African company with operations from car sales to electricals, said it filed a legal complaint against drugmaker Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd. today regarding the financing of a proposed takeover by Chile’s CFR Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

CFR said November 15 it made a 12.6 billion rand ($1.2 billion) cash and stock offer for Johannesburg-based Adcock, which shareholders will vote on later this month.

Bidvest said yesterday it would offer 70 rand a share in cash for a 34.5 percent stake and start legal proceedings.

CFR needs a guarantee from Adcock to finance a loan required to complete the deal, Bidvest said in a legal document lodged in the high court today.

Provision of that guarantee would be “unlawful,” the document said.

“You cannot use the assets of the target company to finance the transaction,” Bidvest chief executive Brian Joffe said in an interview today.

“We have a very strong opinion from senior counsel and what they’ve done is illegal.”

A spokeswoman for CFR said the company couldn’t comment as it hadn’t seen the legal proceedings.

A spokeswoman for Adcock declined to comment. - Bloomberg News

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