Bloomberg News

Mediq Shares Surge as Advent Boosts Offer for Pharmacy Chain

January 18, 2013

Advent International Corp. raised its offer for Dutch pharmacy chain Mediq NV (MEDIQ) by 5.7 percent, seeking to overcome resistance to the private-equity firm’s efforts to expand in the health-care distribution industry.

Advent increased its bid to 14 euros a share from 13.25 euros, representing a 62 percent premium over Mediq’s closing share price on Sept. 21, the last trading day before the Boston- based company announced its initial offer. Mediq rose as much as 11 percent in Amsterdam and traded at 13.65 euros at 3:55 p.m.

The new price “is final and is being offered as a last attempt to bridge the valuation gap between Advent and those shareholders that have not yet tendered their shares,” Advent said today in a statement. The new bid values Mediq at 819 million euros ($1.09 billion), and the offer period was extended to Jan. 29.

Mediq, founded in 1899 and based in Utrecht, owns more than 200 pharmacies in the Netherlands. It sells drugs, medical devices and care services in 15 countries including Poland, the U.S., Germany and Sweden. Private ownership will enable Mediq to make acquisitions to expand globally, and provide easier access to financing, the company has said.

The new offer is a “good, serious step,” Jack Jonk, head of equities at insurer Delta Lloyd’s asset management division, an investor in Mediq. Delta Lloyd will consider the higher bid, he said. The offer, originally due to expire Jan. 4, had already been extended once.

Board Support

The management and supervisory boards of Mediq support the purchase, the companies said in September. The retailer’s shareholders voted in December against the conditional appointment of three Advent directors to the Mediq supervisory board.

Advent, whose other European health-care investments include Median Kliniken in Germany, made an indicative offer for Mediq in June after the Dutch company started looking for buyers, supervisory board Chairman Sjoerd van Keulen told reporters on a conference call on Sept. 24. No other party made a “tangible bid,” he said at the time.

The easier access to financing may support plans to expand internationally through takeovers, Mediq Chief Executive Officer Marc van Gelder said in September.

To contact the reporter on this story: Albertina Torsoli in Paris at atorsoli@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net


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