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Veropharm Jumps to 2 Month-High on Sistema Buyout: Moscow Mover

OAO Veropharm surged to a two-month high after billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov’s AFK Sistema won approval to acquire the Russian drugmaker.

The shares gained as much as 11 percent and closed up 8.5 percent at 858.50 rubles in Moscow, the strongest price since Sept. 19. The number of shares traded reached 32,455, equivalent to about 8.5 times the stock’s three-month average.

Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service granted Sistema permission to acquire all of the Veropharm, the watchdog said in a statement today. OAO Pharmacy Chain 36.6, Russia’s biggest drugstore chain, rallied 4.2 percent to 34.75 rubles, after rising as much as 11 percent. The company aims to sell its 51.8 percent stake in Veropharm to pay down debt, Vedomosti reported Nov. 2.

“Minority investors are hoping Sistema will buy them out at a premium,” Mikhail Terentiev, an analyst at Otkritie Capital in Moscow, said by phone. “The federal approval is just the first step, now the price discussions begin.”

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