CFR sweetens Adcock offer

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A pharmacist counts pills in a pharmacy.

Johannesburg - Chilean drugmaker CFR Pharmaceuticals sweetened its cash and stock takeover offer for South Africa's Adcock Ingram by 1.6 percent to 12.8 billion rand ($1.23 billion) on Friday in an attempt to fend off a rival bid from a local firm.

Santiago-based CFR initially offered 12.6 billion rand in cash and shares to the nation's No. 2 drug maker, an offer rejected by Adcock's biggest shareholder, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC)

CFR's offer also faced competition from South African industrial firm Bidvest, which went straight to shareholders with a 70 rand per share cash offer for about a third of the Johannesburg-based company.

Under the new CFR offer, shareholders would receive 74.50 rand in cash and shares, based on the fixed value of 2.334 rand per new CFR shares. That is slightly higher that 73.51 rand per share the company offered last month.

Shares in Adcock hardly moved on the news.

By 14:56 SA time, the stock was up 0.8 percent at 70.60 rand, reflecting uncertainty about the fate of the rare Chile-South Africa tie-up.

CFR new offer is also aimed at winning approval from Adcock's top shareholder, South African state pension fund the PIC, which has said it would “probably” accept an all-cash offer.

Bidvest, which currently owns about 7 percent, is in the middle of 4 billion rand cash offer at 70 rand per share, aimed at raising its stake to more than third - which would be big enough to torpedo the deal. - Reuters

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