UPDATE 1-Chile CFR shareholders OK sweetened bid for South Africa's Adcock

Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:08pm EST

SANTIAGO Jan 10 (Reuters) - Shareholders of Chile's CFR Pharmaceuticals on Friday approved a sweetened takeover bid for drugmaker Adcock Ingram in an attempt to woo the South African company's top shareholder.

"We've reached a deal with a large majority of Adcock's shareholders, and only two are against it," CFR Chief Executive Alejandro Weinstein told reporters after the meeting.

"We're in conversations with (PIC) to find some sort of a solution to what they're putting forth," Weinstein said. "We're optimistic."

Under the revised CFR offer, shareholders would receive 74.50 rand worth of cash and shares for each Adcock share, based on a value of 2.334 rand per new CFR share. That is slightly higher than the 73.51 rand per share CFR offered last month.

Last month, CFR raised its offer for Adcock by 1.6 percent to 12.8 billion rand (US$1.2 billion) in cash and stock, but state-run pension fund Public Investment Corp (PIC) rejected the offer.

PIC, which owns about 19 percent of Adcock, has rejected CFR's sweetened bid and said it wants all cash.

The tie-up would create an emerging markets pharmaceutical powerhouse with presence in 23 countries and help Adcock keep up with local rival Aspen Pharmacare, which has made a push into overseas markets through a number of deals.

Adcock expects to delay a shareholder vote on CFR's proposal until mid-February because it is still waiting for regulatory approval.

Shares in CFR were trading 0.11 percent lower in midday Friday trade, somewhat overperforming Santiago's IPSA stock index, which was down 0.63 percent.

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