Actis Said to Plan $1.3 Billion Bid for Adcock to Rival CFR

Actis LLP, a London-based private-equity firm, has proposed an offer for Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd. to counter a bid from Chilean drugmaker CFR Pharmaceuticals SA, two people familiar with the matter said.

Actis made a 70 rand per share offer to Adcock’s board in late July on condition it gets the same information as given to CFR, one of the people said. More than 80 percent of the offer would be in cash, the person said. The deal would value Johannesburg-based Adcock at 12.3 billion rand ($1.3 billion).

Adcock shares traded 2.7 percent higher at 67.75 rand at the market close in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 11.9 billion rand. The maker of drugs including Panado painkillers said on July 3 it had entered exclusive talks with CFR after receiving a non-binding cash and shares bid valued at a potential 73.51 rand a share.

Under the terms of the Actis offer, Adcock would continue to be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange as a newly formed company with a different name, one of the people with knowledge of the matter said.

Adcock declined to comment, according to Brunswick, which handles the communications for the company. John van Wyk, head of Africa for Actis, declined to comment.

Shares Component

CFR didn’t disclose the component of shares in its offer, causing concern among investors including The Public Investment Corp., Adcock’s biggest shareholder, and Oasis Group Holdings.

The PIC, which oversees the pension funds of South African government workers, would be willing to consider a strategic partner or investor if a cash offer is for a 50 percent plus one share control of Adcock, Chief Investment Officer Dan Matjila said on July 17. Oasis Group Holdings, which holds 2.3 percent of Adcock shares, said on July 16 it won’t support the CFR bid as it doesn’t want the Chilean company’s stock.

Adcock rejected a 6.2 billion-rand cash and shares offer from Johannesburg-based Bidvest Group Ltd. for a 60 percent stake in the company in March. The stock has advanced 25 percent this year, compared with an 8.8 percent gain on the FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index.

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