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Odin likely to accept revised offer for Pronova says BASF

By Gareth MacDonald+

18-Jan-2013
Last updated on 21-Jan-2013 at 09:29 GMT

BASF says Pronova shareholders likely to accept bid
BASF says Pronova shareholders likely to accept bid

German chemicals giant BASF expects its revised takeover bid for Norwegian omega-3 API manufacturer Pronova Biopharma ASA to be accepted by resistant shareholders.

BASF increased its offer from €644m to €684m earlier this week after a number of Pronova investors said the original bid was too low and threatened to prevent the German firm from reaching the 90 per cent acceptance target needed to complete the takeover.

At the time BASF confirmed that shareholder opposition had prompted the increase and said the higher proposal was 'fair value' for Pronova, particularly following the Greek government’s decision to include some of its key products on the national non-reimbursement list.

Initially the revised bid met with similar resistance , but reports today suggest  at least one formerly resistant group – Norwegian fun Odin Forvaltning which holds a 4.7 per cent share of Pronova – has been won over.

Odin Fund manager Alexandra Morris told Reuters that: “We will accept the offer even though we are not satisfied with the price," adding that “our alternative would be to go into a prolonged struggle."

Thomas Nonnast, senior manager of corporate media relations at BASF confirmed this, telling in-Pharmatechnologit.com that: “I think there is no reason to doubt that they [Odin Forvaltning] will tender.”

He added that: “BASF hopes to reach the 90  per cent and that the Pronova shareholders share with us the opinion that the increased offer reflects the full and fair value,” but declined to comment further.

The revised offer expires today. BASF has also said that if current efforts to acquire Pronova are unsuccessful it will not make another bid for the omega-3 active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) maker.

in-Pharmatechnologist.com will update this story when more information is available.

Update #1

A second Pronova investor - Nykredit Asset Management which holds a 1 per cent stake - has also said it will accept the offer. The group told Bloomberg that, while it still thinks the bid is too low, it will take the deal .

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