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Royalty Pharma given deadline for Elan bid

The US investment firm circling Elan has been set a deadline to “put up or shut up” by the Irish Takeover Panel.

Royalty Pharma has been mulling a $6.6bn (€5.1bn) bid for Irish drugmaker Elan. Its been told to make a firm offer by May 10 or walk away.

Royalty made its indicative approach, worth $11 per Elan share, in February, hoping to add hundreds of millions of dollars of royalty rights for multiple sclerosis (MS) drug Tysabri to its stable of royalty streams.

Elan rejected the offer. Today it welcomed the takeover panel's deadline, reiterating the "highly conditional indication of interest" from Royalty was opportunistic in its timing.

The approach by New York-based Royalty put into question Elan's plans to return cash to investors following the $3.25bn sale of its 50pc stake in Tysabri to partner Biogen Idec.

Elan, left with only experimental drugs following the deal, will retain royalties of up to 25 percent on future sales of the MS treatment and announced last month it would give shareholders one-fifth of that royalty share.

Royalty was due to meet with 10 to 15 of Elan's largest shareholders, including Johnson & Johnson, ahead of the April 12 shareholder meeting. Elan claims most of its shareholders did not view Royalty's idea as worth consideration.

Online Editors