Minority Schering shareholders extract another €46 per share from Bayer

A group of minority Schering AG shareholders held out to the bitter end against what Bayer wanted to pay them for their shares, and they will now get the sweet deal they said they deserved.

More than 6 years after Bayer pulled off the mammoth buyout of Schering, a court in Berlin has ordered the German drugmaker to cough up another €300 million ($392 million), plus interest, to the minority shareholders, Bloomberg reports. That is €46 per share more than the nearly €90 a share Bayer paid the other shareholders in 2006, when it bought Schering in a deal valued at €17 billion ($22.2 billion.)

Peter Dreier, a Dusseldorf lawyer who represented the disgruntled shareholders, said there is a second lawsuit for another group of minority shareholders who were "squeezed out" in the acquisition. He said this ruling should bode well for them. "We expect a massive increase in that case also," he told Bloomberg. A spokesperson for Bayer said they had not heard about the ruling but would evaluate and decide if further legal action is needed.

The decision is similar to what happened to Novartis ($NVS) several years ago when a small group of shareholders held out against what the Swiss company offered them for their shares in Alcon. The investors threw a roadblook up by filing a class-action lawsuit to slow down the Swiss drugmaker's takeover of the company and force Novartis to pay more for their shares. Novartis eventually came to the bargaining table so that it could complete its $50 billion, two-step buyout of the eye drug company, but it cost the drumaker an extra $1 billion, according to reports at the time. Novartis agreed to give the minority group shares and cash that amounted to the equivalent of $168 per share, about 9% more than the $154 a share it paid the rest of Alcon's stockholders.

- here's the Bloomberg story

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