RPT-UPDATE 2-S.Africa's Bidvest raises stake in Adcock to block Chilean bid

Fri Dec 6, 2013 10:45am EST

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* Together Bidvest and PIC own 25.7 pct

* CFR needs approval from 75 pct of shareholders

* Oasis Holdings sells 2.2 pct stake

By David Dolan

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 6 (Reuters) - South Africa's Bidvest has raised its stake in drugmaker Adcock Ingram to 6.8 percent in its effort to block a $1.2 billion takeover bid by a Chilean firm, a regulatory filing showed on Friday.

Bidvest and its outspoken founder and chief executive Brian Joffe are battling to keep Adcock out of the hands of Santiago-based CFR Pharmaceuticals, which wants to extend its reach into fast-growing Africa.

Bidvest's 6.8 percent stake may be enough to block the CFR deal, as Adcock's biggest shareholder, South African state pension fund the Public Investment Corporation, has said it would reject CFR's current offer.

After failing to take control of Adcock in March, Bidvest this week went direct to shareholders with an all-cash offer of 70 rand a share with a view to acquiring a little over a third of the company.

CFR, whose cash and stock offer is currently worth around 73.51 rand a share, needs approval from investors holding 75 percent of Adcock stock at a meeting on Dec. 18.

PIC, also the top shareholder in Bidvest, is against the share portion of CFR's offer, according to a person familiar with the fund's thinking.

The fund, which manages the pension money of government employees, owns 18.9 percent of Adcock, including indirect holdings, and 15 percent of Bidvest.

Earlier on Friday South African asset manager Oasis Group Holdings said it had sold a 2.2 percent stake in Adcock on the open market.

"In terms of the CFR offer, we believed the CFR shares were expensive and carried a higher risk," Oasis spokesman Hassan Motala said.

Hassan declined to comment on who bought Oasis's stake, or how much it was sold for.

JSE data showed that 3.86 million shares, or about 2.2 percent of Adcock had been traded off the exchange's central order book.

A total of 4.25 million Adcock shares had changed hands, according to preliminary bourse data, the most active day of trading for the stock since early April. ($1=10.4278 South African rand) (Additional reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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