* Bidvest intends to lift holding to over 50 pct -document
* Competition Tribunal blocks job cuts after the deal
(Releads with Bidvest intention to increase stake)
By Tiisetso Motsoeneng
JOHANNESBURG, Aug 21 South Africa's Bidvest
Group intends to raise its stake in ailing drugmaker
Adcock Ingram to more than 50 percent, a legal document
from the Competition Tribunal showed.
Bidvest, a conglomerate with businesses ranging from food
service to auto showrooms, already has a 34.5 percent holding in
Adcock Ingram, South Africa's second-biggest drugmaker.
It is now considering buying more shares to lift its holding
to over 50 percent, according to the document obtained by
"The Bidvest bid has involved two stages. The second stage
is to acquire further shares beyond the 34.5 percent, which
presumably, depending on the take-up of the offer, would take
Bidvest's holding to above 50 percent," it said.
Bidvest went direct to Adcock shareholders in December last
year with a 4 billion rand ($371 million) cash offer for the
initial 34.5 percent, sinking a rival bid from Chile's CFR
Bidvest Chief Executive Brian Joffe has been trying to take
control of Adcock since March 2013, seeing a chance to turn
around another underperformer and add its portfolio of
painkillers to Bidvest's wide variety of products.
Joffe, whose initial bid for control was spurned, has a long
track record of snapping up laggards and turning them around by
focusing on cash flow, capital allocation and shareholder
Shares in Adcock are down more than 30 percent so far this
year, underperforming a more than 12 percent gain in the
Johannesburg's All-share index.
The competition regulator said on Thursday it had ordered
Bidvest to refrain from cutting jobs at Adcock, dealing a blow
to the conglomerate's plan to turn around the ailing drugmaker.
Adcock is trailing rivals such as Aspen Pharmacare
as it grapples with slowing sales, over-reliance on a heavily
regulated home market and factories that are running below
Investors are expecting a lot from Bidvest. Some had felt
robbed of a payout when it defeated CFR's bid, which would also
have pushed Adcock into fast-growing markets in Latin America
and southeast Asia.
(1 US dollar = 10.7030 South African rand)
(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by David Holmes and