Adcock Ingram Share Surge After Company Receives Offers

Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd. (AIP), South Africa’s largest supplier of hospital products, said it received offers to buy the company or a controlling stake, sending the stock to its highest level since 2010.

The board “is in receipt of non-binding proposals” the Johannesburg-based company said a statement today. The announcement comes less than two months after Bidvest Group Ltd. offered to buy 60 percent of the drugmaker for about 6.2 billion rand ($691 million). Adcock said at the time it wouldn’t recommend the offer from the South African conglomerate to shareholders.

“There may be more than one buyer for Adcock,” Henre Herselman, a derivatives trader at Nedbank Private Wealth, said by phone in Johannesburg. “The share is rising on speculation of rival bidding.”

Adcock shares rose 8.9 percent to 67.50 rand by the close in Johannesburg, the highest since November 2010.

Last month Bidvest (BVT) said it planned to put its proposal directly to Adcock shareholders because a “large weight” of them supported the proposal.

Adcock, which makes Panado painkillers and Corenza cold medicine, said on April 4 that any new offer from Bidvest should address legal deficiencies, the rights of minority shareholders following a gain of control by Bidvest, and how the plan fits into the drugmaker’s strategy to empower black investors.

Bidvest, a group with interests from car sales to coal export terminals, had made half of its offer for Adcock in cash at 65 rand a share, and half in stock at a ratio of one Bidvest share for every four Adcock shares. Bidvest already held 2.54 percent of Adcock when it announced the proposal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Janice Kew in Johannesburg at jkew4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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