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Trouble at the top of Stada as Bain and Cinven mull fresh bid

Private equity firms request a waiver from the 12-month stay on subsequent bids

Stada

The chief executive and finance chief of Stada have stepped down in the wake of the failed takeover by private equity firms Bain and Cinven, citing "personal reasons".

CEO Matthias Wiedenfels - who only took over at the helm of the Germany pharma company last June - and chief financial officer Helmut Kraft are heading for the exits and will be replaced on an interim basis by Engelbert Coster Tjeenk Willink and Bernhard Düttmann, respectively.

Tjeenk Willink is a pharma veteran with 25 years' experience in the sector, with stints on the board of Boehringer Ingelheim and several other drug makers, while Düttman has held CFO positions at pharma-chemical group Lanxess and skincare company Beiersdorf.

The news comes as Bain and Cinven are reportedly preparing a fresh bid that would value the generic and over-the-counter (OTC) drug specialist at around €4.1bn ($4.65bn), and are trying to negotiate a waiver on the usual 12-month stay on subsequent bids that typically applies under German law.

The private equity firms are in discussions with German financial regulator BaFin to that end but also need the agreement of Stada, which said it is "currently assessing whether the company would give its consent to the exemption from the exclusion period".

Bain and Cinven narrowly failed to gain sufficient support to push their €66-per-share takeover bid through last month, mustering support from 65.52% of investors, just shy of the 67.5% needed to seal the deal. Their offer beat out another bid from Advent and Permira. The new bid - if agreed by all parties - would set the acceptance threshold at 65%.

Stada chairman Ferdinand Oetker said in a statement that the company's business is "unaffected" by the resignations, adding: "we do not deviate from our operating and financial targets. Should further takeover offers be made, we will examine and evaluate them impartially".

The company is expecting to post net income of €195m-€250m on revenues of €2.28bn-€2.35bn this year, rising to €250m-€270m and €2.65bn-€2.70bn in 2019.

Tjeenk Willink said his first priorities will be to "continue to implement Stada's growth strategy and to assess potential new takeover offers".

Article by
Phil Taylor

5th July 2017

From: Sales

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