‘Cipla has not opposed takeover of South African partner’

May 6th, 2009 - 4:07 pm ICT by IANS  

By Fakir Hassen
Johannesburg, May 6 (IANS) South African pharmaceutical major Adcock Ingram, which last month said it wants to take over rival Cipla Medpro, Wednesday said it has received no letter from the targeted company’s Mumbai-based partner Cipla India opposing the acquisition bid.

In its potential offer to acquire Cipla Medpro, Adcock said it wanted written confirmation from Cipla India that the supply agreement it has with its South African partner would continue, on no less favourable terms, until September 2025.

Following this, Cipla Medpro Monday released details of a letter Cipla India chief executive Amar Lulla is supposed to written to Adcock Ingram, saying it did not support the acquisition bid.

“This letter serves to advise you that we, Cipla India board, will not support your bid to purchase Cipla Medpro SA Ltd now or at any time in the future,” the letter was reported to have read.

But in a statement widely advertised in national business newspapers here Wednesday, Adcock Ingram said neither its chief executive Jonathan Louw or anyone else at Adcock had received a letter from Lulla, “some details of which were included in a statement by South African generic drug manufacturer CMSA (Cipla Medpro) on Monday”.

“Neither Dr Louw nor anyone else at Adcock has received nor are currently in possession of any such letter,” the statement said, adding: “Adcock is not in a position to comment until such time as it has received the letter and had an opportunity to review the content thereof in full.”

Adcock, however, acknowledged the importance of the relationship between the Mumbai firm and Cipla Medpro, and asserted it “will endeavour to engage with Cipla India to secure their support at the appropriate time”.

Claiming that it has received undertakings of support from Cipla Medpro shareholders who hold a little over 36 percent stake in the company, it added: “Adcock believes the remaining CMSA shareholders should be afforded the opportunity to decide on the commercial merits of the proposed offer.”

In this connection, it said: “Adcock also welcomes the establishment of an independent subcommittee of the board of directors of CMSA to consider the proposed offer and believes that this will ensure that the interests of all CMSA shareholders are duly and properly considered. Adcock awaits a formal response from the CMSA board to the terms of the proposed offer.”

Referring to the permission granted by South African Competition Commission in respect of Adcock’s application, the company said it would file a separate merger notification shortly.

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