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Elan eyed buying suitor Royalty

Irish drug firm Elan previously considered buying the US company now stalking it in a $6.7bn (€5bn) hostile takeover bid, new documents reveal.

New York-based Royalty Pharma disclosed negotiations that took place last year between the two firms as it posted a formal offer document to Elan shareholders yesterday.

The offer document from Royalty reveals that Elan and Royalty Pharma had considered merging last August after the US firm expressed an interest in a stockmarket listing.

But in a later meeting, in October, Royalty boss Pablo Legorreta told Elan executives that going public had become a "lower priority" and suggested Royalty could buy Elan.

But last December, Elan chief executive Kelly Martin told Mr Legorreta that Elan was instead focused on making acquisitions rather than being acquired. Royalty then told Elan on February 18 that it was going to make an offer to buy the Irish firm. There has been no contact since February 20.

US firm Royalty Pharma isn't budging on its $11.25 per share offer for Elan, it said yesterday, denting the likelihood that the company will succeed with its takeover of the Irish group.

Elan shareholders have until the end of the month to accept. Elan has told shareholders they should reject Royalty's bid.

Irish Independent