Bain bids for time on Warner Chilcott bid

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The Independent Online

Bain Capital, the US private equity house, attempted to scupper an immediate takeover of Warner Chilcott last night, as the women's healthcare company closed in on a deal with a rival buyout group.

Bain Capital, the US private equity house, attempted to scupper an immediate takeover of Warner Chilcott last night, as the women's healthcare company closed in on a deal with a rival buyout group.

Bain, leading a consortium with The Carlyle Group and Thomas H Lee, urged shareholders to take no action even if, as planned, Warner Chilcott's management agrees a £1.6bn takeover this morning.

A private equity consortium led by Goldman Sachs was the favourite going into the final hours of talks last night. It tabled an 837p-a-share bid last week and encouraged Warner Chilcott to set a deadline of last night for higher offers.

One insider said: "Management were pleasantly surprised at 837p and John King [the chairman, who owns 8 per cent] is keen to know what he can spend for Christmas."

A combination of CSFB and JP Morgan was the only other potential bidder last night, although it may have hit a glitch as Warburg Pincus was heard to have pulled out of its consortium.

Bain's decision to go public, insisting that it is within 48 hours of making a bid of its own, is aimed at preventing Goldman Sachs or CSFB entering the market to buy shares, making a rival bid impossible.

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