Meda Declines as CEO Change Damps Takeover Talk: Stockholm Mover

Meda AB (MEDAA), the maker of the Dymista allergy medicine, fell the most in two months in Stockholm trading after promoting Joerg-Thomas Dierks to chief executive officer, reducing speculation that there will be a takeover.

The stock declined as much as 4 percent to 74.25 Swedish kronor, the biggest drop since Aug. 2. Chief Operating Officer Dierks, 53, who previously worked at Novo Nordisk A/S (NOVOB) and Viatris Pharmaceuticals, will succeed Anders Loenner as CEO, Meda said in a statement today.

The stock reached the highest level in more than two years in June on speculation about a takeover. The Wall Street Journal reported on May 31 that the Solna, Sweden-based company was in talks to be acquired by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (SUNP) for almost $5 billion. Meda denied it was in talks at the time.

“The market may be viewing that with internal succession, it’s less likely that the company would consider a takeover bid,” Johan Unnerus, an analyst at Swedbank Markets in Stockholm, said in a telephone interview.

Meda shares fell 3.1 percent to 74.90 kronor at 11 a.m. in Stockholm trading, paring their advance to 12 percent this year and giving the company a market value of 22.6 billion kronor ($3.5 billion).

Loenner’s tenure was extended a few times, signalling that the company and major shareholder Stena Sessan AB were considering strategic alternatives such as a takeover, Unnerus said. Now that an internal successor has been announced, the company is less likely to agree to a takeover, he said.

‘Strong Portfolio’

“Meda has a strong portfolio of new products, and its focus now will be to optimize the marketing of these products as opposed to acquisition of new products,” Loenner said in the statement. “As a result, this is a good time to make this transition.”

Sun, India’s biggest drugmaker by market value, is looking to expand in the U.S. and Europe and last year considered a purchase of German generic-drug maker Stada Arzneimittel AG (SAZ), people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

Meda’s Dymista allergy medicine was approved in the U.S. last year. The company’s products, focused on respiratory, cardiology, dermatology, central-nervous-system, pain and inflammation treatments, generated sales of 12.99 billion kronor in 2012.

To contact the reporter on this story: Makiko Kitamura in London at mkitamura1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

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