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Wesfarmers Acquire 19.3% Stake In Priceline Owner, In Bid To Take Over

Wesfarmers has hit back hard after Sigma Healthcare made a “more favourable” bid for Priceline owner, Australia Pharmaceutical Industries, buying a 19.3 per cent stake in the business.

Wesfarmers bought the 19.3 per cent stake in API from Washington H. Soul Pattinson, who had already indicated it would vote in favour of the retail giant in any takeover bid.

Wesfarmers’ surprise $687 million takeover bid was initially rejected by the API board, before the company upped it by $77 million to $764 million, all-cash.

Sigma’s recent cash and stock bid of $773 million is “more favourable” on paper, but Wesfarmers buying out close to 20 per cent seems to have put them in the lead.

Both offers are currently being considered.

“Exercising our option to acquire 19.3 per cent of API reflects the group’s commitment to the transaction and the continued progress of the Wesfarmers proposal,” Wesfarmers chief executive Rob Scott said.

 

 

 

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