Forest Lab eyes bid for €6bn Elan
Forest Laboratories, the €9bn-valued US pharma giant, is said to be looking at a bid for Irish drug firm Elan, which was put up for sale two weeks ago.
Elan announced that it was going to sell itself after it fended off a bitter takeover approach from Royalty Pharma. Elan boss Kelly Martin and his board were slapped down when shareholders overwhelmingly voted against their plans to invest the company's €2.4bn cash pile in buying up risky new drug development companies.
Royalty Pharma, which bid around €6bn for Elan in a hostile takeover attempt, has indicated that it would like to be involved in the sales process. Royalty Pharma is precluded from making a hostile bid for Elan for another year. However, it may make a "friendly" approach to the board.
Elan appointed Davy Corporate Finance, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Ondra Partners to sell the company, which was one the most valuable firms on the Irish stock market.
Mid-sized pharma firms as well as major private equity groups with healthcare portfolios are the likeliest buyers. Valeant, GSK and Allergan, Hatteras Venture Partners and Edward's Lifesciences are all said to be interested.
Apart from its cash pile, Elan may attract bidders because of its valuable tax benefits from its Irish location.