Richter dismisses talk it is a takeover target for Forest
BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungarian drugmaker Richter has dismissed as "entirely unrealistic" market speculation that U.S. peer Forest Laboratories Inc might consider it as a potential takeover target.
"We believe that this is entirely unfounded market gossip," Richter spokeswoman Zsuzsa Beke told Reuters on Tuesday in response to a question.
"We believe that Forest does not intend to make a hostile takeover, this is entirely unrealistic," she said.
Forest was not immediately available for comment.
The two companies are linked through a planned new antipsychotic drug, Cariprazine, discovered by Richter and licensed to Forest in the United States and Canada.
The Hungarian state holds a 25 percent stake in Richter which it renewed in an exchangeable bond transaction late last year. That stake serves in part to prevent any hostile takeover attempts, Richter's chief executive Erik Bogsch has said.
Richter shares rose 3.5 percent in Monday trade on the Budapest Stock Exchange, outperforming the wider market. The shares were down 1.3 percent at 4,695 forints ($21.47) by 0925 GMT on Tuesday.
Some market players said Monday's gains may have been fuelled by recent takeover activity by Forest.
"The company announced its purchase of Aptalis last week and flagged further acquisitions, which led many to consider Richter as a target," analysts at brokerage Equilor said.
Forest said last week it would buy speciality pharmaceutical maker Aptalis from private equity firm TPG Capital for $2.9 billion (£1.76 billion) in a deal it promised would increase next year's earnings.
Analysts at Erste Bank have said gains in Richter shares over the past week were also fuelled by expansion prospects flagged by its chief executive to Reuters in an interview.
(Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Mark Potter)
- Michaels Stores Inc, the biggest U.S. arts and crafts retailer, on Thursday confirmed that there was a security breach at certain systems that process payment cards at its U.S. stores and that of its unit, Aaron Brothers.
- The troubles at BlackBerry Ltd, which fired more than half its staff and lost more than 90 percent of its market value as consumers shunned its smart phones, might have spelled disaster for the company's hometown of Waterloo, Ontario. Instead, there are hot sports cars in the streets and new companies filling the refurbished office buildings. | Video
BEIJING/HONG KONG - China reiterated its opposition on Thursday to a European Union plan to limit airline carbon dioxide emissions and called for talks to resolve the issue a day after its major airlines refused to pay any carbon costs under the new law.