JOHANNESBURG Jan 16 South Africa's Bidvest
Group said on Thursday it will close its offer for a
stake in drugmaker Adcock Ingram early next month, in
what could be an attempt to speed up a takeover battle that has
been waylaid by delays.
Bidvest, a conglomerate that spans shipping to auto sales,
is attempting to thwart a takeover of Adcock by Chilean firm CFR
CFR has bid 12.8 billion rand ($1.2 billion) in cash and
shares for Adcock, an offer that shareholders were initially due
to vote on last year, but which has since been delayed twice and
is now expected in mid-February.
"Adcock has been subjected to a protracted period of
continuous delays throughout which time the attention of the
Adcock board and management has been diverted from optimising
the operational performance," Bidvest said in a statement.
"This has been exacerbated by the protracted process
relating to the offer by CFR Pharmaceuticals."
Bidvest said its cash offer for 34.5 percent of Adcock will
close at 1500 GMT on Feb. 4.
Shares of Adcock were little changed, as were shares of
($1 = 10.8837 South African rand)
(Reporting by David Dolan; editing by Ed Stoddard)