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Vectura agree £441m merger with Skyepharma

Published on 16/03/16 at 04:08pm

Vectura (LON: VEC) and Skyepharma (LON: SKP), two UK-based pharma companies, have joined together in a deal worth £441m.

The companies will combine their portfolios in asthma and other breathing difficulties to create a combined market value of more than £1 billion, making it more attractive to potential investors.

Vectura have indicated that the consideration under the terms of the merger represents a value of 410.15 pence per Skyepharma share, or approximately £441.3 million. However, Skyepharma shareholders can elect to receive a partial cash alternative of a maximum amount of £70 million instead of some or all of the new Vectura shares to which they would otherwise be entitled under the merger.

The proposed deal will see Skyepharma shareholders own almost 42% of the combined group and the firm will be run by current Vectura chief executive, James Ward-Lilley, who will become CEO.

He comments: “I would expect to see a number of new holders coming into this stock, given our mid-cap market capitalisation with the combination. We have today really got the opportunity to be an industry leader in terms of the device and technology focused on respiratory inhalers.”

The news comes just after Skyepharma outlined positive revenue growth in their financial results for 2015. Outgoing chief executive officer, Peter Grant, says: “2015 has been a year of further substantial progress both operationally and financially… With a sustained focus on expertise, innovation and growth, we have entered 2016 with a high degree of confidence in our business.”

According to Reuters, the deal has been recommended by both companies’ boards and is backed by HBM Healthcare Investments, which holds approximately 28.5% of Skyepharma.

Sean Murray

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