Servier offers $483M to buy out other Egis shareholders

Servier owns 51% of the Hungarian drugmaker Egis, and it wants the rest. France-based Servier has offered 28,000 forint per share in cash, or almost $126, for the outstanding stock, putting the deal price at about $483 million.

And that is Servier's final offer, the company was quick to say. In a Q&A posted on the French drugmaker's website, business development chief Pascal Touchon said his company won't increase the price. "We are not planning any post-bids after the acceptance period regardless of the original bid's outcome," Touchon stated.

Egis is a generics company that's been operating for the last 18 years as a Servier unit, but it maintained its own listing on the Budapest Stock Exchange. Servier figures there's no need to tap that market for financing, and so taking Egis over completely makes sense. Touchon says Servier has no plans to cut back at Egis, because it's already integrated into the larger company.

The Servier offer comes as drugmakers are pushing into emerging pharma markets, to help offset stagnation in mature markets, particularly Europe. The BRIC countries--Brazil, Russia, India and China--are the biggest prizes, but smaller markets, such as Hungary and the rest of Eastern Europe, have their own charms. Egis is active in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States countries, as well as in Central Europe.

Amgen recently snapped up the Turkish drugmaker Mustafa Nevzat (a.k.a. MN Pharmaceuticals), and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA) opened a $110 million plant in Hungary late last year. Valeant Pharmaceuticals built up its Eastern European presence via its PharmaSwiss buyout, and Takeda Pharmaceuticals spent $13.6 billion to buy Nycomed in part to gain access to the Swiss drugmaker's operations in the region. Meanwhile, Novo Nordisk ($NVO) has been on a hiring push in emerging markets, including Ukraine.

- read the Servier announcement
- see the Touchon Q&A (PDF)

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