J&J/Crucell deal might snag on bid issues
While J&J may consider lowering its bid for Crucell because of manufacturing issues, some Crucell shareholders are determined to hold out for more. Van Herk, the second largest Crucell shareholder, with a 10 percent stake in the company, has pushed for a €27.50 ($36.17) per share deal, although the company's stock currently trades 4.5 percent below J&J's current offer.
Crucell's South Korean plant suffered a microbiologic contamination last year, triggering a €23 million ($30.2 million) inventory loss. And although the plant should be reopened in February, the issues have some shareholders on edge, worried that J&J could lower or withdraw its current offer. These concerns have led the company to push shareholders to accept the current bid.
According to Reuters, if J&J can secure 80 percent to 95 percent of Crucell's stock, minority shareholders could be muscled out, leaving Van Herk in a potentially difficult position.
"It is simply a question of timing, that is why the share price is below the offer price," Exane BNP Paribas analyst Vincent Meunier told Reuters. "This is also a good reason to really tender their shares."
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