Lilly to buy German animal health business Lohmann

Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:53am EST

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(Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N), one of the biggest U.S. drugmakers, said on Monday it would buy Germany's privately held Lohmann Animal Health for an undisclosed sum in a move to grow its animal vaccine business.

Lilly lowered its financial outlook for 2014 because of the transaction, saying it needed to factor in accounting adjustments and other costs.

It trimmed its estimated earnings to a range of $2.72 to $2.80 per share, down 5 cents per share.

Lilly shares were up 52 cents, or less than 1 percent, at $58.49 in morning New York Stock Exchange trading.

Lilly regularly uses acquisitions to grow its animal health business Elanco, which is one of the largest in the world.

Lohmann, which is owned by PHW Group, Germany's biggest poultry farmer and owner of the Wiesenhof food brand, supplies poultry vaccines and feed additives.

It has manufacturing sites in Cuxhaven, Germany and Winslow, Maine.

Reuters previously reported that buyers were offering about 400 million euros, or around $550 million, for Lohmann, which buyers said had 256 million euros, or $352 million, in sales last year and employs 640 staff.

Lilly declined to comment on the deal value.

Sources familiar with the matter said that animal health company Zoetis Inc (ZTS.N) and private equity firms Permira PERM.UL and KKR & Co (KKR.N) had also placed final bids for the company.

Germany's Boehringer Ingelheim, the world's largest unlisted drugmaker, also considered an offer last year, sources said then.

(Reporting by Caroline Humer; Additional reporting by Ransdell Pierson and Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt; Editing by Sophie Hares)

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