Wellcome cites higher sales to fend off Glaxo
Wellcome predicted a 36 per cent increase in combined sales over the next four years for Zovirax and Valtrex, its herpes and shingles treatments, and anti-epileptic Lamictal and Aids drug Retrovir.
Wellcome said the expected growth rates for Lamictal and Valtrex, the sales of which are currently negligible, were better than the City was expecting and would more than make up for declining sales of Zovirax after its patent expires in 1997.
John Robb, chief executive, said the forecasts underlined the extent to which Glaxo's offer undervalued Wellcome. He also criticised the bid for being 30 per cent dependent on Glaxo shares which, he said, had "uncertain value" following last year's decline in earnings per share and falling sales of Zantac, Glaxo's biggest-selling drug.
Sir Richard Sykes, chief executive of Glaxo, poured cold water on the defence: "Wellcome does not dispute the commercial logic of our bid, nor the changes now taking place in the pharmaceutical industry which are driving its consolidation. Our offer is generous. It is the only offer and Wellcome shareholders should accept it now."
Mr Robb refused to be drawn on the state of negotiations with third-party potential bidders. He said it would be surprising if a buyer showed its hand much before the 28 February deadline set by the Wellcome Trust, after which it would irrevocably commit to accepting Glaxo's offer.
The trust was in the High Court yesterday for a hearing, adjourned until today, to determine whether it can reduce its holding below 25 per cent, the limit set by the court last time it sold a tranche of shares in a public offering in 1992.
Robin Gilbert, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said the forecasts, which envisaged sales of the four drugs rising from £1.13bn last year to £1.54bn in 1998, were reasonable and in line with his own expectations.
Sales of Zovirax, which accounts for about 40 per cent of Wellcome's sales, are forecast by the company to peak this year at £942m before declining to £598m over the following three years.
Valtrex, its successor, however, is expected to increase its sales from just £18m this year to almost £300m by 1988.
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...