Fisons sells off more assets to block takeover
pounds 600m in disposals may lure white knight
Wednesday 30 August 1995
The City saw the latest deal as improving Mr Wallis's chances of extracting a higher price from RPR or making Fisons more attractive to a white knight. The shares added 2p to 257.5p yesterday, keeping the price well clear of the bidder's 240p-a-share cash offer.
In a statement Mr Wallis said: "In concluding this deal with Fisher Scientific, Fisons has achieved its third major divestment within six months. This effectively completes Fisons' disposal programme and creates a focused pharmaceutical company with a clear strategy for profitable growth."
Asked later about the possibility of agreeing a higher offer with RPR, he reiterated: "As I have always said, I have absolutely no problems with anyone coming along to us and the board and discussing ways of adding value to Fisons." But he stressed it was "up to RPR, if they have a continuing interest in Fisons, to come along to us and tell us what that increased interest is".
Mr Wallis said the defence document would be published on Monday and left open the possibility that interim results, scheduled for 12 September, might be brought forward. "I think we will be able to mount a very robust defence," he said. James Culverwell, of Merrill Lynch, is expecting the figures to show profits have risen from pounds 30.4m to pounds 33m in the six months to June.
RPR welcomed news of the latest deal, which had always formed part of the French-owned US drugs group's plans for its British rival. A spokesman said it was "encouraging" that Fisons had managed to find a buyer for the business, although it was difficult to tell whether full value had been achieved, he added.
In an unusual show of unanimity, analysts were also generally favourably impressed by the latest deal. "They're demonstrating that they're getting on with sorting themselves out and delivering shareholder value, and positioning themselves to give an alternative to the RPR offer," said Merrill Lynch analyst, James Culverwell. At Panmure Gordon Alex Isaac said the lab supplies sale should increase Fisons' cash pile to between pounds 400m and pounds 500m, which should in turn increase the price of the whole group.
The $310m (pounds 201m) that Fisher Scientific International is paying for the two businesses being acquired, Curtin Matheson Scientific in the US and Fisons Scientific Equipment in the UK, was initially viewed as disappointing by analysts. But Fisons said the sale of the remaining business, J&W Scientific, a US-based world leader in the manufacture of mass spectrometry columns, had attracted "an incredible number of offers". Market estimates yesterday were that the auction of the business, likely to be completed in the next week or two, could bring in pounds 30m to pounds 40m, taking total proceeds from lab supplies close to pounds 250m.
Curtin Matheson and Fisons Scientific together turned over $750m (pounds 485m) and reported operating profits of $28m (pounds 18m) in the year to last December, although Mr Wallis said there had been "considerable pressure" on the results for this year. The pounds 202m sale of Fisons' scientific instruments operation is expected to go ahead next month.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Watch a man race the Circle line and win
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
- 5 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Islamic State: Pope is 'being targeted by Isis', Iraqi ambassador to the Holy See warns
Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton nude pictures exhibition cancelled after artist concedes photos were 'stolen property'
Scotland independence: A nation divided against itself: Brown says SNP are liars. Darling joins in. Salmond fights back...
John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
Richard III: Two years after his body was found, scientists discover how he died
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
iJobs Money & Business
£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...
£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...
£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...