King Seeks To Buy Alpharma | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 35 | p. 25 | Concentrates
Issue Date: September 1, 2008

King Seeks To Buy Alpharma

Department: Business

Amid this summer's flurry of pharmaceutical sector deal-making, Alpharma, a specialty drug firm based in Bridgewater, N.J., is fending off an unsolicited attempt by King Pharmaceuticals to acquire it for $33.00 per share in cash, or about $1.4 billion. King, a $2 billion-per-year specialty drugmaker based in Bristol, Tenn., has submitted three takeover proposals to Alpharma since July. In its latest bid, the first to be made public, King says the combined company would be a leader in the specialty pharmaceutical sector, with particular strength in pain management. Alpharma CEO Dean J. Mitchell claims that King's bid undervalues his company. Although Mitchell asserts that Alpharma is not for sale, he says the firm would seriously consider any proposal that reflects its fair value. King CEO Brian A. Markison is asking Alpharma's board to reconsider the offer—and threatens to take the bid directly to shareholders if it does not. King specializes in neuroscience, hospital, and acute care therapies; Alpharma focuses on pain therapies and has an animal health business. King's bid surfaces in the wake of significant deals among major generic drug firms, including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' $9 billion bid for Barr Pharmaceuticals in July and Daiichi Sankyo's $4.6 billion offer for Ranbaxy Laboratories in June.

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