Engineering News

Bayer says takeover of Schering AG successful
Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:35pm ET

FRANKFURT, June 20 (Reuters) - German drugs and chemicals maker Bayer AG said on Tuesday it controlled a majority of contraceptive-pill maker Schering AG after a protracted battle and still aims to fully acquire the company.

Bayer said it had gained control of 88.0 percent of Schering's approximately 191 million outstanding shares and thus had attained the three-quarters majority that was the last remaining condition of its almost $22 billion takeover offer.

"We are pleased to have received such broad-based support from the stockholders," Bayer chief executive Werner Wenning said.

Bayer said it continues to pursue its goal of wholly acquiring Berlin-based Schering, Bayer's largest takeover in its 142-year history.

Bayer won control of Schering earlier this month for an increased price of around 17 billion euros, beating rival Merck KGaA which bowed out and sold its more than 21 percent Schering stake to the larger drugs and chemicals group for 3.7 billion euros or 89 euros per share.

Bayer said investors in Schering that had already tendered their shares under its original offer of 86 euros per share would also benefit from the higher price.

Remaining Schering shareholders would be able to accept the 89 euro per share offer during an additional acceptance period running from June 23 until July 6, Bayer said.

Competition authorities in the United States and Europe have already given approval for the takeover.

Wenning has promised a quick integration of Schering. Bayer Schering Pharma AG, the unit resulting from the merger that is to combine the both companies' pharmaceutical businesses, will have annual sales of more than 9 billion euros and its headquarters in Berlin.

Germany's manager magazine reported on Tuesday, without citing sources, that Bayer's healthcare chief Arthur Higgins has been chosen to head the new combined pharmaceutical unit.

Industry sources said current Schering chief executive Hubertus Erlen had already indicated he wanted to withdraw from day-to-day running of the business.

Bayer and Schering declined to comment.

The chief executives of Bayer and Schering plan a joint news conference in Berlin on Wednesday.

Bayer shares closed down 0.5 percent at 32.73 euros on Tuesday, while Germany's large cap DAX <.GDAXI> index rose 1 percent. Schering shares closed up 0.8 percent at 89.70 euros. ($1=.7942 Euro)

Source: Reuters

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