Crucial days for Fisons

Crucial days

for Fisons

The most interesting element of yesterday's final defence document from Fisons was a piece of trivia. To reinforce its case, Fisons quotes Fred Franks, head of the healthcare sector at Lehmans, as saying that the sale by Fisons of its research and development arm is a paradigm for other medium-sized European drugs companies to follow. The fact that Mr Franks is husband to the woman heading the bidding advisory team from Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, though wholly irrelevant, provides some light amusement.

But that is a sideshow to the bid, as unfortunately for Stuart Wallis, chief executive of Fisons, is much of yesterday's document. The three drug deals it unveiled will not add much if anything to earnings before the end of the decade. In the meantime, rivals will not be standing still. Already, for instance, Zeneca and SmithKline Beecham are producing a more patient-friendly tablet form of the leukotriene antagonist asthma treatment which Fisons has now signed up to develop for use in its inhaler with Ciba-Geigy. Meanwhile, the forecast that underlying profits from pharmaceuticals - the bit Fisons will be left with if all the current disposals go through - will top pounds 118m this year hardly comes as a surprise to the market.

To be fair to Mr Wallis, he never promised any white knights or a blockbuster deal and has consistently refused to be deflected in his strategy by the attentions of RPR. There is no reason to believe that, left to his own devices, more substantial joint venture deals would not follow the start made yesterday. But he looks unlikely to get the chance.

This coming week will be crucial. RPR has until Friday to revise its bid terms. It will be frantically canvassing the views of the institutions over the coming days. The message it is likely to receive is that a further 20p a share might clinch it.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Reach Volunteering: Trustee – PR& Marketing, Social Care, Commercial skills

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...

Reach Volunteering: Charity Treasurer

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible