Elan shareholders approve $1 billion share buyback

DUBLIN, April 12 Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:16am EDT

DUBLIN, April 12 (Reuters) - Irish drugmaker Elan won approval from shareholders on Friday to commence a $1 billion share buyback as it seeks to keep them on side and stave off an approach from U.S. investment firm Royalty Pharma

The buyback was priced between $11.25 and $13.00 per share and is part of plans to return cash to investors after the $3.2 billion sale of Elan's interest in multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri. It was backed by 99.2 percent of shareholders at a special meeting.

Royalty said it reserved the right to reduce its indicative approach of $11 per share if the buyback went through but it may also sweeten its proposal by paying more if Tysabri, which Elan still receive royalties for, hits certain sales milestones, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

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