September 28, 2009 / 6:00 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 2-Lonza, Patheon extend takeover talks deadline

* Lonza bid for Patheon extended by two weeks

* Other terms of bid remain unchanged

* Patheon shares rise 3.8 percent (Adds analyst’s comments and background)

ZURICH, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Switzerland’s Lonza LONN.VX and Canadian drugmaker Patheon Inc PTI.TO have extended an exclusivity and due diligence period by two weeks for the Swiss group’s takeover bid, the companies said on Monday.

Other terms of the bid remain unchanged, Lonza said. They include Patheon’s commitment not to negotiate an acquisition transaction with any other party although it can respond to an unsolicited acquisition proposal.

The groups have extended the exclusivity and due diligence period to Oct 15 from the original Sept 30.

Patheon shares were up 3.8 percent at C$2.99 on the Toronto Stock Exchange at midday on Monday.

Lonza last month offered to acquire the Canadian company for $3.55 a share, or about $450 million.

That bid was rejected by U.S. private equity company JLL Partners, which owns 57 percent of Patheon, even though a special committee of Patheon investors wants to keep the door open to a Lonza deal.

JLL says it is not interested in selling the drug manufacturer to Lonza and has no plans to enter talks. JLL was not available for comment.

Analysts said the extension does not signal any development in the drawn-out affair, noting that nothing can be accomplished without JLL agreeing to negotiate.

“The ball is in JLL’s court. They can do all these sorts of announcements but if JLL does not want to budge, then nothing is going to get through,” said Maher Yaghi, an analyst at Desjardins Securities, in Montreal.

“These extensions and due diligence periods are made between Patheon and Lonza and do not have any implications or nuances as they relate to JLL’s view on this deal.” (Additional reporting by Scott Anderson in Toronto) (Reporting by Sam Cage; Editing by Hans Peters and Peter Galloway)

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