Meda board rejects new Mylan offer

STOCKHOLM Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:52am EDT

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish drugmaker Meda (MEDAa.ST) has rejected an improved takeover offer from U.S. generics firm Mylan (MYL.O), saying it was confident in its future as an independent company and its biggest shareholder did not support the bid.

The new all-stock offer was worth 145 crowns per share, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday, and follows a rejection by Meda's board earlier this month of a previous offer.

Mylan's improved offer comes amid a flurry of recent healthcare deals, including medical device maker Zimmer Holdings Inc's (ZMH.N) $13.4 billion acquisition of rival Biomet, a $20 billion-plus asset swap between Novartis (NOVN.VX) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) and an offer by Canada's Valeant (VRX.TO) to buy Botox maker Allergan (AGN.N) for $47 billion.

"The Board's decision is based on a strong belief in the continued potential of Meda as a stand-alone company and the assumption that a transaction cannot be completed as it lacks sufficient support from Meda's largest shareholder," Meda said in a statement.

Meda's biggest shareholder is Stena Sessan Rederi AB, controlled by the Olsson business family, which owns 22.7 percent of shares, meaning it could block any takeover attempt.

Share trading in Meda was halted on Friday after news of the fresh offer, valuing the firm at around $9 billion including debt, was first reported by the Financial Times.

(Reporting by Sven Nordenstam, Editing by Mark Potter)