Stada Surges as Takeover Speculation Resurfaces: Frankfurt Mover

Stada Arzneimittel AG, the German generic-drug maker that has spent more than 250 million euros ($331 million) on acquisitions this year, gained the most in two months on a report it may be a target itself.

The shares rose as much as 4.9 percent, the biggest intraday gain since Oct. 15, and traded up 3.9 percent to 23.63 euros as of 10:20 a.m. Volume exceeded the stock’s six-month daily average.

Claudio Albrecht, who has been working as chief executive officer of Actavis Group hf, an Icelandic competitor which has been taken over, is sounding out interest among institutional investors to sell their Stada stock, Platow Brief said today, citing bankers it didn’t identify. Albrecht’s move could help Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. make a second attempt to buy Stada, even if it means resorting to a hostile approach, Platow also said.

Albrecht, who plans to replace Chief Executive Officer Hartmut Retzlaff at Stada in the event of a successful takeover, also has a potential investor from the U.S. at hand, according to the report, which didn’t identify the second interested party.

The report revives speculation that Stada may be vulnerable to a takeover after people familiar with Sun’s intentions said in August the Indian drugmaker was looking at potential acquisitions in Europe, including a possible deal with Stada, which is based in Bad Vilbel.

Shareholder Revolt?

Albrecht may be trying to stir a shareholder revolt after Stada executives resisted Sun’s approaches, the German newsletter said. Actavis is being bought itself by Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Albrecht has said he plans to leave the company after integration, the Wall Street Journal has said.

Stada declined to comment on the report when contacted by Bloomberg News. Actavis spokeswoman Hjordis Arnadottir couldn’t be reached for comment.

Stada CEO Retzlaff said in August that the German company is sticking to its strategy of seeking smaller acquisitions. The stock trades at 14 times earnings, compared with an average 19 times for its peers in the global generic-drug industry, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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