Patheon pulled in two directions
Basel – Contract manufacturing specialist Lonza AG has made an offer to buy Canadian competitor Patheon Inc. for US$460m. The proposal calls for the Swiss to pay US$3.55 per share. The pharmaceutical manufacturing contractor says the acquisition would give Lonza greater supply chain coverage. “An acquisition of Patheon would take us into the complementary activities of finished dosage development and manufacturing for both small molecule and biological active ingredients,” said Stefan Borgas, CEO of Lonza. The company has signed a confidentiality and standstill agreement with Patheon not to negotiate an acquisition transaction with any party other than Lonza until the end of September. Patheon is currently trying to fight off a hostile takeover attempt from financial investor JLL, which has launched a bid to acquire Patheon shares for US$2. The US private equity fund, which currently holds 57% of Patheon, has said the Lonza offer “will only distract Patheon management from driving growth in the business” and has dismissed the Swiss move as an “attempt to adversely impact the competitive position of Patheon through an inappropriate review of Patheon’s confidential information.” Analysts disagree about whether Lonza’s current offer is too high or too low.