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King Pharmaceuticals launches hostile bid for Alpharma

September 12, 2008
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Drug developer King Pharmaceuticals Inc. launched its tender offer for rival Alpharma Inc., taking its offer directly to shareholders after raising its bid 12 percent to $1.6 billion, as reported by the Associated Press. King said its offer of $37 per share will expire October 10. The would-be buyer said it could advocate replacing Alpharma''s board members with its own nominees to facilitate the buyout. King''s management reiterated that its offer represents a 54 percent premium over Alpharma''s closing price on August 21, the day before public disclosure of the initial buyout offer. That offer had been rejected by Bridgewater, N.J.-based Alpharma, which said it would adopt a shareholder rights plan, also known as a poison pill, to head off a hostile takeover bid. In a statement Thursday, Alpharma urged shareholders not to take action on King''s tender offer until its board makes a formal recommendation within 10 business days following consultation with advisers. Despite the tough posture assumed by both companies, several analysts agreed they will likely be forced to negotiate a final deal.

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