By Tiisetso Motsoeneng
JOHANNESBURG Jan 30 South Africa's Bidvest
bought most of a record 39 million shares in Adcock
Ingram that traded on Thursday, a person familiar with
the matter said, and now may have a big enough stake to block a
$1.2 billion takeover offer.
Chile's CFR Pharmaceuticals, which aims to build an
emerging markets powerhouse with operations in Latin America,
Asia and Africa, made an offer in November for Adcock, South
Africa's second-biggest drugmaker.
Bidvest, which had tried and failed to buy control of Adcock
in March 2013, has responded with a 4 billion rand ($359
million) cash offer direct to shareholders, which expires next
Thursday's record trading volume represented about 22
percent of Adcock's shares, with most trading at Bidvest's offer
price of 70 rand a share, according to the exchange and Thomson
Santiago-based CFR needs backing of 75 percent for its
sweetened $1.2 billion bid to go through.
"The majority of the 39 million shares that traded today
were bought by Bidvest," the source said, adding that he was not
sure what Bidvest's resulting stake would be.
Bidvest, which declined to comment, had built up its stake
in Adcock to about 9 percent before Thursday. Buying the bulk of
the shares that traded on Thursday could lift its stake to about
Adcock shareholders are due to vote on the deal in the
middle of February.
CFR is offering 74.50 rand worth of cash and its own shares
for each Adcock share, based on a value of 2.334 rand per new
CFR share. The final ratio of cash to shares will be determined
after CFR concludes a rights issue to its own shareholders.
Daily trade in Adcock averaged less than 650,000 shares last
year, and Thursday's volume was the highest for the company
since its listing in 2008.
CFR's offer also has come up against the Public Investment
Corporation, Adcock's biggest shareholder with more than 20
percent. The PIC said in December it did not want to swap shares
in Adcock for those in CFR.
Even without increasing its stake, Bidvest could have still
scuppered CFR's bid by combining its 9 percent stake with that
of PIC. After Thursday's deals, it may not need to rely on the
PIC to ensure that the deal fails.
Bidvest, a conglomerate that spans shipping to auto sales,
is expected to disclose the size of its stake Adcock on Friday,
the day Adcock holds its annual shareholder meeting.