Fisons seeks advice to fight off bid
Saturday 26 August 1995
Fisons is locked in talks with advisers SBC Warburg, NatWest Securities and Cazenove this weekend in an attempt to put together a defence to the unwanted pounds 1.7bn bid from Rhone-Poulenc Rorer.
Under Takeover Panel rules, the company has until a week on Monday to produce a document and the timetable is likely to go to the wire.
The extra time could allow the group to bring forward interim results, due on 12 September, and use them as the centrepiece of its defence.
The company is also thought to be close to sewing up a deal to sell its laboratory supplies business, which has been up for sale for some time.
But the indications are that Fisons is still struggling to find a white knight which would finally see off RPR, the US drugs arm of French chemicals group Rhone-Poulenc.
On Thursday, the German chemicals and pharmaceuticals group BASF, ruled itself out of the running for the British group and the indications are that Fisons' search for a saviour has yet to bear fruit.
The stock market's waning hopes for another bidder is reflected in the share price, which soared 71.5p to 264.5p after the bid was announced, but has since slipped back to 255.5p, up 0.5p yesterday.
The moves came as US analysts suggested that cost cuts of pounds 50m-pounds 200m could result from merging Fisons' US operations with those of RPR. The main area of overlap is in the two groups' salesforces, where job cuts are likely.
Fisons' 300-strong team compares with 600 involved in the respiratory area at RPR, although not all are involved in asthma allergy, which is the British group's main area of strength.
RPR refused to comment on likely cost savings, but observers suggest the final figure will be nearer the bottom end of the indicated range.
Meanwhile, Roche Holding, the giant Swiss drugs group, yesterday demonstrated the benefits of pharmaceutical mergers, reporting higher-than-expected profits on the back of last year's $5.3bn acquisition of Syntex of the US.
The group announced an 18 per cent rise in first-half net profits to Sfr1.91bn (pounds 1.02bn), although sales nudged ahead only 2 per cent to Sfr7.49bn. Analysts had been forecasting net profits only 10 to 15 per cent higher.
Roche initiated a restructuring programme aimed at slashing 5,000 jobs across the group as part of a restructuring of its main drug division after the Syntex merger. This helped to boost operating margins from 21 to 24 per cent in the first half.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Kim Jong-un 'purge': Six North Korea officials missing for weeks 'may have been executed'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
iJobs Money & Business
£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...
120-150k: Accountancy Action: We are looking for an experienced CFO from a min...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...