MBK bids S$360m for pharmaceutical company

Private equity looks to take advantage of the refuge the pharmaceutical sector offers in uncertain economic times.

MBK Partners has made a S$357.4 million ($252 milllion; €173 million) bid to delist Singapore pharmaceutical company AsiaPharm in order to merge it with portfolio company Luye Pharmaceutical International.

The firm has bid at S$0.73 per share. The company’s share price rose more than 10 percent to S$0.7 per share at the close of the Asian markets on Friday following the bid.

The offer is a 31.1 percent premium to the company’s share price in the month preceding the bid.

AsiaPharm researches, develops and produces pharmaceutical drugs.

MBK has received irrevocable undertakings from shareholders with a 44.17 percent stake. It is seeking to delist the company from the Singapore Stock Exchange.

Dutch bank ABN AMRO is advising MBK.

Firms continue to be active in the pharmaceutical sector and the related medical device sector as companies look to invest defensively as the economic cycle turns down.

Last week global investment firm 3i bought Alpharma’s Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients business for $395 million (€270.4 million), in an investment which straddles both sectors.