August 24, 2018 / 12:24 PM / 3 months ago

China Biologic rejects $3.9 billion bid from former CEO

(Reuters) - China Biologic Products Holdings Inc (CBPO.O) rejected a $3.9 billion offer from a consortium led by its former chief executive on Friday and said an affiliate of CITIC Capital had also withdrawn a competing bid.

Shares of the company, which makes and sells plasma products, fell 14 percent to $87.03 in afternoon trading.

The consortium, which included China Biologic’s former CEO David Gao, GL Capital Group, Bank of China Group Investment Ltd and CDH Investments, said on Monday it had offered $118 per share, $8 more than the CITIC unit’s bid.

China Biologic said the consortium’s offer was not in the “best interests of the company and its shareholders as it did not reflect the intrinsic value of the company”.

The company said it planned to raise nearly $590 million from a sale of 5.85 million shares at $100.90 per share to investors, including Centurium Capital Management Ltd, CITIC and Hillhouse Capital Management.

The David Gao-led consortium said the company’s board has “hastily arranged a private placement of shares to a select handful of investors, including a fund affiliated with the Chairman, at a steep discount to the price that we proposed.”

The consortium said it will evaluate all options, including legal action, to hold the company’s board accountable.

The short-lived bidding war for China Biologic had pitted two state-backed buyers. CITIC is a part of state-owned conglomerate Citic Group, while the consortium was backed by state lender Bank of China’s investment arm.

After the completion of the deal, Centurium, CITIC, Hillhouse and PWM will own a combined stake of about 37 percent in China Biologic.

“We are surprised that the company’s board has issued new shares to board-friendly hands,” Jefferies analyst Johnny Wong said, adding that the share issuance would make another hostile bid more difficult.

Wong said a lawsuit from minority shareholder is a possibility, given that the board did not employ independent financial advisors and is diluting minority shareholders by issuing shares at a lower price than the bid price.

Reporting by Aakash Jagadeesh Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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