August 31, 2017 / 6:46 AM / 2 years ago

Elliott demands at least 74.40 euros/share for its Stada stake

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Activist investor Elliott Management said on Thursday it wanted at least 74.40 euros per share for its stake in Stada STAGn.DE as private equity firms Bain Capital and Cinven seek to tighten their grip on the German generic drugmaker.

Bain and Cinven this month won control of Stada with a sweetened 5.3 billion-euro ($6.3 billion) bid, in the largest private-equity funded takeover of a German listed company, offering 66.25 euros per share.

At the end of the offer period the buyout groups had secured acceptances for close to 64 percent of Stada’s shares, just about clearing the minimum threshold for the deal to go through.

They are now trying to win over more investors, such as index-tracking equity funds which were previously not allowed to tender their shares, to get above 75 percent.

That milestone would allow them to tap into Stada’s cashflow to service their debt, but it would also trigger a mandatory buyout offer to minority shareholders as part of the so-called domination agreement under Germany’s takeover code.

Shareholders holding out for a better deal such as Elliott typically challenge such an offer in court, hoping for a court-appointed auditor to value their shares at a higher price than they bought them for.

Stada said a week ago that Bain and Cinven plan to negotiate a domination agreement.

Elliott has accumulated a stake of 13.3 percent, or 15.2 percent when taking stock options into account, Stada said on Thursday.

A spokesman for Bain and Cinven said they had taken note of Elliott’s demands and declined to comment further.

With the shares trading up 0.2 percent at 78.60 euros at 0948 GMT on Thursday, buyers of the stock appeared to be betting on an even higher compensation deal than Elliott demands.

Reporting by Patricia Weiss and Maria Sheahan; Writing by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Balazs Koranyi, Greg Mahlich

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