Report: Rival Bidder Endo Makes Offer for Salix

RALEIGH, N.C. (The Raleigh News and Observer/TNS) -

Raleigh-based Salix Pharmaceuticals has received a rival takeover bid from Endo International offering to buy the company for between $170 and $175 per share in cash and stock, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Endo is seeking to snatch Salix away from Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which last month reached a deal to acquire the company for $158 a share in cash.

Endo, which is based in Ireland, sent a private offer letter to Salix’s board on Wednesday, The Journal reported. If Endo’s offer is successful, it would result in the company having to pay a hefty termination fee to Valeant.

Salix could be required to pay up to $400 million if its sale to Valeant doesn’t close, the company reported in a regulatory filing last month. The terms of the Valeant acquisition include a $356.4 million termination fee and the payment of out-of-pocket expenses of up to $50 million to Valeant.

Salix officials agreed not to solicit rival acquisition offers after entering into a deal with Valeant. But Salix is allowed to provide information to and engage in discussions and negotiations with a third party that makes an unsolicited bid for the company.

Endo’s offer is just the latest sign of how attractive Salix has become in a pharmaceutical industry that is rapidly consolidating. A number of different suitors have been in talks with Salix about acquiring the company over the past nine months.

The company, which employs about 915 people, sells drugs to treat gastrointestinal ailments. Salix has a portfolio of 22 drugs, and reported annual revenue of $1.134 billion last year, compared to $914 million in 2013.