Philip Morris is the company behind Marlboro cigarettes. Picture: AP
The board of British pharmaceutical firm Vectura has backed a takeover offer from tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI), regardless of lobbying from health groups.PMI, the company behind Marlboro cigarettes, had provided 165p per share – or around ₤ 1.1 bn – for the Wiltshire-based firm, that makes inhaled gadgets and medications to treat respiratory diseases such as asthma.
Its competitor, United States private equity company Carlyle, had provided 155p per share and said earlier this week that it would not increase its bid, which it explained as “reasonable and complete”. Vecturas board had come under significant pressure from politicians such as shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth, along with various health organisations, all concerned about such a tie-up. After Vecturas announcement on Thursday, the president of Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation called the relocation by PMI “unacceptable”.
Sarah Woolnough stated: “The proposed PMI takeover of Vectura is unacceptable in every possible method.
” Along with representatives from more than 20 organisations, I wrote to the Vectura board today to urge them to reject the bid. Theyve decided to suggest, so now its over to the investors.”
In the letter, the organisations had stated that, if the takeover went ahead, PMI “could benefit from treating the very diseases that its items trigger”. It is bitterly disappointing that Vectura have so far stopped working to work out duty of care to patients and scientists and reject this takeover by big tobacco.
On Thursday night, the board said it considered the terms of the PMI offer to be “affordable and fair”, adding that it prepares to all recommend the quote to shareholders.In a declaration, the board stated: “The Vectura directors acknowledge the superior cash rate the final PMI deal supplies Vectura shareholders.”The Vectura directors also keep in mind that broader stakeholders might benefit from PMIs significant monetary resources and its objectives to increase research and advancement investment and to run Vectura as an autonomous company unit that will form the foundation of its breathed in therapeutics organization.
On Thursday night, the board stated it considered the terms of the PMI deal to be “affordable and reasonable”, adding that it plans to all recommend the quote to shareholders.In a declaration, the board said: “The Vectura directors recognise the superior cash price the last PMI offer provides Vectura shareholders.”The Vectura directors likewise keep in mind that wider stakeholders could benefit from PMIs significant monetary resources and its intentions to increase research and development investment and to run Vectura as an autonomous organization unit that will form the foundation of its inhaled therapeutics organization.”PMI has constantly said it would desire Vectura to operate as an independent system, including that it sees the acquisition “as part of a natural development into a broader healthcare and wellness business”.