The German Chemicals giant raised its offer for Norway-based Pronova today , upping its previous bid of €644m to €684m after minority shareholders Odin Forvaltning AS and Nykredit Asset Management said the original proposal was too low.
BASF spokesman Thomas Nonnast acknowledged this resistance as a factor in the revised bid, telling in-Pharmatechnologist.com “the increased offer price is a concession to the shareholders of Pronova to enable a transaction.”
He also suggested that further revisions to the bid are unlikely before the offer deadline expires on January 18.
“Fundamentally, there is no further information that would require an increase in the offer price,” he said, adding that “In fact, the most recent news flow around Pronova was rather negative.”
On January 11, Pronova announced that its Omacor and Zodin products had been placed on the negative reimbursement list in Greece, meaning that the state will no longer pay for either of the two drugs as part of a wider round of public healthcare cost cutting.
Greece is one of Pronova’s key markets with around 4 per cent of the firm’s NOK1.8bn ($323m) revenue coming from the country each year.
Pronova has not said what impact inclusion on the non-reimbursement list is likely to have on revenue; however its decision to appeal the ruling – in collaboration with partners Abbott Laboratories and Grupo Ferrer – suggests it would rather not lose the sales.
The firm did not respond to in-Pharmatechnologist.com's request for information ahead of publication.
Fair value says BASF
Nonnast said that – with the Greek decision in mind – BASF's revised “offer is an attractive opportunity for all Pronova shareholders to sell their shares at a full and fair value, particularly taking into consideration the very low trading liquidity of Pronova shares, and that it provides the best solution for Pronova's stakeholders.”
Whether this will be enough to convince resistant shareholders before the offer expires on Friday remains to be seen.
Earlier today Odin Forvaltning AS - which holds a 4.7 per cent stake in Pronova - said that it is still not satisfied with the BASF offer according to Bloomberg .