Adcock’s Biggest Investor Raises Stake in Bet on New Management

The Public Investment Corp., the largest shareholder in Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd. (AIP), said it increased its stake to 22 percent in the hope that new management rather than a proposed change of ownership will increase the value of the South African drugmaker.

“We believe there is a lot of value to be unlocked through better management,” PIC Chief Investment Officer Daniel Matjila said by phone today. “That’s why we are buying the stock at these levels.” The PIC, a manager of South African civil-servant pension funds, held 19 percent of Adcock on Dec. 16.

Adcock is a takeover target for CFR Pharmaceuticals SA (CFR), Chile’s largest drugmaker, which raised its offer to buy the Johannesburg-based company by 2 percent to 12.8 billion rand ($1.2 billion) on Dec. 13. The bid, a minimum of 50 percent of which would be paid in cash, values each share at 74.50 rand to 75.78 rand, according to Adcock.

The PIC, Africa’s biggest money manager, said Dec. 20 that it opposes the CFR proposal as it believes shareholders can get more value through changes in the way the company is run. CFR’s offer reduces Adcock shareholders’ potential to benefit from any turnaround in the company, it said.

Adcock shares gained 0.3 percent to 70.25 rand as of 11:57 a.m. in Johannesburg. A group led by Bidvest Group Ltd. (BVT), a South African owner of businesses ranging from catering to car sales, made an all-cash offer of 70 rand a share to buy a 34.5 percent stake in Adcock on Dec. 2.

Adcock’s stock has climbed 26 percent since an earlier offer by Bidvest for a 60 percent stake on March 22. That compares to a 45 percent increase in larger competitor Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. (APN)

Foord, a Cape Town-based money manager, owns about 15 percent of Adcock on behalf of its clients, according to a stock-exchange statement on Dec. 27. Adcock shareholders haven’t yet been given a date on when to vote on the CFR offer. CFR shareholders will vote on the need to issue new shares to fund the takeover on Jan. 10.

To contact the reporters on this story: Janice Kew in Johannesburg at jkew4@bloomberg.net; Christopher Spillane in Johannesburg at cspillane3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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