Perrigo CEO Still Pursuing Deals Amid Mylan Takeover Feud

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Perrigo Co. Chief Executive Officer Joe Papa is pursuing deals of his own despite the cloud of a hostile takeover by Mylan NV hanging over his head.

“We, as a company, are very active in M&A,” the head of the over-the-counter drug maker said in a phone interview. “We’re going to continue to do more deals.”

Acquisitions in the $100 million to $1 billion range are a distinct possibility, he said. “It doesn’t mean we won’t look at even larger transactions.”

Papa is seeking to convince shareholders that Perrigo’s prospects are better as a stand-alone company than they would be by accepting a takeover offer of about $33 billion from generic-drug maker Mylan. He’s focusing instead on transactions to bulk up the range of products Perrigo offers to drugstores and grocers in the U.S. to sell under their own brands.

Perrigo could also seek deals in diabetes, adult nutrition or wound care, Papa said. He cited the 3.6 billion euro ($4.1 billion) acquisition of Omega NV in November, which bolstered Dublin-based Perrigo’s over-the-counter business in Europe, as an example of the type of purchase he’d like to do again.

Perrigo’s ability to pursue its own deals could be stymied by the Irish Takeover Panel, should the country’s deal regulator deem the size or scope of any transaction be designed either specifically or partially to frustrate Mylan’s attempt.

Deal Threshold

Mylan said earlier this month that it would go through with the takeover if 50 percent or more of shareholders accepted its offer, down from an earlier minimum of 80 percent. Papa suggested that Mylan’s decision to lower the threshold for a deal could be a move to pressure shareholders into tendering their shares to avoid ending up a minority holder in a Mylan-controlled company.

“Mylan has taken its disregard for shareholders to a new level in recent days by threatening to delist Perrigo shares from every exchange, even if 49 percent of our holders say ‘no’ to its offer,” Papa said Tuesday in a letter to shareholders.

Mylan’s shareholders will vote Friday to determine whether the company can move forward with its bid for Perrigo. Mylan Executive Chairman Robert Coury said Perrigo “continues to make misleading comments” about the offer, and shareholders should consider “the compelling nature of this transaction, our commitment to completing it, and our ability to realize the significant benefits from the combination.”

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