By Jessica Toonkel and Soyoung Kim
NEW YORK, July 12 Irish drugmaker Elan Corp
is seeking first-round bids next week after
drawing interest from a few drugmakers including Allergan Inc
and Forest Laboratories Inc, several people
familiar with the matter said on Friday.
Other companies such as Mylan International and Endo
Health Solutions Inc, which took a preliminary look at
Elan, are no longer involved in the process, they added.
All the people asked not to be named because the matter is
not public. Allergan, Forest and Elan declined to comment. Endo
and Mylan did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In June, Elan, which has a market capitalization of $7
billion, rejected a hostile bid by U.S.-based investment firm
Royalty Pharma worth up to $8 billion. Instead, the company put
itself up for sale.
Companies like Allergan and Forest are interested in Elan
primarily for the tax savings that come from being domiciled in
Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is 12.5 percent, the
people familiar with the matter said.
Some Elan investors have speculated that any of the industry
buyers could acquire Elan and sell a portion of the royalties on
the drugmaker's multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri to Royalty
Pharma, which is what the investment firm has wanted all along.
With such a deal, Royalty would get the Tysabri royalties,
the industry buyer would get a lower corporate tax rate and Elan
would get a better price for the company. It is unclear if any
such discussions are under way, however.