Royalty Pharma offer for Elan gets little support

Royalty Pharma says 0.01 pct of Elan shares have been tendered in support of $7.5B offer

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Royalty Pharma disclosed Friday that a negligible number of Elan Corp. PLC shareholders have voted their shares in favor of its offer to buy the company.

The New York company offered to buy Elan in February for $11 per share and later raised the offer to $11.25 per share. Royalty Pharma said about 67,800 shares, or about 0.01 percent of outstanding Elan stock, had been tendered as of Thursday.

On Thursday Royalty Pharma formally raised its offer to $12.50 per share, or about $7.5 billion. The revised bid is scheduled to expire June 6.

Royalty Pharma also eased one of its conditions for completing the offer, lowering a threshold for the percentage of shareholders who must vote for the deal to more than 50 percent from 90 percent. Elan has said the bids are too low and has urged its shareholders to reject them.

Royalty Pharma buys interests in drugs and late-stage drug candidates. Its offer is contingent on shareholders voting against Elan's recent push to refocus its business.

Elan recently sold its interest in Tysabri, a multiple sclerosis drug, to its former partner Biogen Idec Inc. for $3.25 billion in cash and recurring royalty payments. Since then Elan has bought back $1 billion in stock, agreed to buy the rights to royalties from four respiratory treatments being developed by Theravance Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline for another $1 billion, and has agreed to spend at least $448 million to buy a privately held Austrian drug developer and stakes in two other companies.

Shares of Elan rose 10 cents to $12.46 in morning trading.

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