Cipla Medpro shareholders back buyout by India's Cipla

JOHANNESBURG Wed May 15, 2013 6:17am EDT

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Shareholders of South Africa's Cipla Medpro CMPJ.J overwhelmingly approved a $488 million takeover offer from India's Cipla Ltd (CIPL.NS) on Wednesday, giving the Indian drugmaker a big presence in Africa's biggest economy.

There had been some concern the 4.5 billion rand deal ($488 million) - the biggest by an Indian firm in South Africa - could fall through after Cipla Medpro's top shareholder said the price undervalued the Cape Town-based company.

A total of 99.7 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the deal, Cipla Medpro said in a statement.

Cipla supplies the bulk of Cipla Medpro's drugs through a long-standing agreement but has never owned a stake in it.

Shares in Cipla Medpro rose 1.9 percent to 9.65 rand by 0948 GMT, below the 10 rand per share offer.

Black empowerment group Sweet Sensations, the top shareholder in Cipla Medpro with an 18 percent stake, said in March it would ask the Indian company to raise its offer, causing some concern the deal could be scuppered.

Cipla Medpro would be delisted from the JSE on 3 September ($1 = 9.2048 South African rand)

(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by David Dolan)

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