Tobacco maker Philip Morris signs deal with Britain’s Vectura with 75% backing

Philip Morris International’s research and development headquarters is pictured next to the company’s cigarette factory in Neuchâtel, Switzerland on March 17, 2017. Photo taken on March 17, 2017. REUTERS / Paritosh Bansal / File Photo

  • Holders of around 75% of Vectura shares support the tender
  • PMI needed 50% backing to get deal done
  • Extends deadline for other holders to tender their shares by September 30

Sept. 16 (Reuters) – Cigarette maker Philip Morris (PMI) (PM.N) has won the roughly £ 1 billion takeover of inhaler maker Vectura (VEC.L) after securing backing from around 75% of UK shareholders company, as part of its expansion beyond tobacco.

Vectura shareholders had until September 15 to decide whether or not to back PMI’s 165 pence-per-share offer, which aimed to buy the London-listed asthma drugmaker as part of its plan to become “smoke-free” and move on to health care. and wellness products.

“We have taken an important step in our acquisition of Vectura and we are pleased to have obtained more than 74% of the shares of the company, more than the 50% required to make our offer unconditional and PMI the majority shareholder”, PMI chief executive Jacek Olczak said in a statement Thursday.

PMI had received the shares from shareholders as part of a takeover bid, and the cigarette maker’s offer for Vectura cannot be withdrawn now.

PMI, which had opposed the private equity firm Carlyle Group (CG.O) for the takeover of Vectura, had turned its proposal into a takeover offer resulting from an alleged scheme of arrangement to increase its chances.

The change allowed PMI to require support from holders of just over 50% of Vectura’s shares for the deal to go through.

Philip Morris has received regulatory clearances for the deal and has gained support from Vectura’s board of directors, but health groups are questioning a tobacco company making money by treating illnesses even caused by cigarettes.

Olczak said PMI will provide scientists at Vectura with the resources and expertise to reach a goal of at least $ 1 billion in net revenue from its “Beyond Nicotine” products by 2025.

The US-based company also extended the deadline for remaining Vectura shareholders to tender their shares to September 30.

($ 1 = 0.7234 pounds)

Report by Pushkala Aripaka in Bangalore; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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