January 13, 2014 / 6:41 PM / 4 years ago

McKesson says Celesio takeover offer has failed

FRANKFURT, Jan 13 (Reuters) - U.S. drugs wholesaler group McKesson said on Monday that it has failed to win enough support for its $8.4 billion offer to acquire German drugs distributor Celesio.

The suitor last week raised its offer for Celesio to 23.50 euros per share from 23 euros following pressure from activist hedge fund investor Elliott, which had become Celesio’s second-largest shareholder behind Franz Haniel & Cie GmbH.

But McKesson said on Monday it has still failed to get across the 75 percent threshold for acceptances which it had set as a condition for going ahead with the higher offer.

“While we are disappointed that we were not successful in completing our offers for Celesio, we have a track record of great performance, a strong balance sheet and demonstrated leadership and scale across our markets,” McKesson’s chairman and chief executive, John Hammergren, said in a statement.

“We are well positioned and will continue to explore and evaluate opportunities to further strengthen our businesses through our disciplined approach to capital allocation.”

Franz Haniel & Cie GmbH, which holds a 50.01 percent stake in Celesio and had accepted the original offer, said it regretted that the bid was not successful.

“We can now take our time at Haniel to calmly analyse the situation and consider all options,” Chief Executive Stephan Gemkow said in a statement.

No one at Elliott was immediately available to comment.

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