Bidvest Bids $393 Million for Adcock Stake to Counter CFR

A consortium led by Bidvest Group Ltd. (BVT), South Africa’s second-biggest company by revenue, offered to buy a 34.5 percent stake in Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd. (AIP), countering a bid by CFR Pharmaceuticals SA. (CFR)

Bidvest and privately-held Community Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd. is offering 70 rand a share in cash, valuing the stake at 4 billion rand ($393 million), Johannesburg-based Bidvest said in an e-mailed statement today. Bidvest already owns about 4 percent of Adcock, excluding treasury shares.

Santiago-based CFR bid 12.6 billion rand in cash and stock for all of Adcock earlier this month, a proposal that has been recommended by the Adcock board. Bidvest’s offer, which comes 16 days before Adcock shareholders will vote on CFR’s transaction, is about 13 percent higher than its attempt in March to buy a 60 percent stake in the Johannesburg-based pharmaceutical company.

The Public Investment Corp, South Africa’s state-owned pension fund manager and the biggest shareholder in Adcock and Bidvest, hasn’t given its support for the CFR deal.

“Given CIH’s strong pharmaceutical credentials and Bidvest’s track record of value enhancing investments and strong empowerment credentials, we believe that the consortium has the credentials to add value to Adcock, something which is clearly required,” Bidvest Chief Executive Officer Brian Joffe said in the statement.

Adcock will maintain its primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, according to the statement from Bidvest and CIH. CIH is a 100 percent black-owned company, operating in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, and has interests in health care, technology and communications, logistics, mining and power and energy sector, it said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Johannesburg at kbhuckory@bloomberg.net; Christopher Spillane in Johannesburg at cspillane3@bloomberg.net

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

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