Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A War of Words Continues Mylan, Perrigo Keep Sparring as Time for Deal Runs Out

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A War of Words Continues Mylan, Perrigo Keep Sparring as Time for Deal Runs Out

Article excerpt

Looking back on seven months of give-and-take in Mylan's hostile bid for Perrigo Co. brings to mind the early days of Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update feature, the part where Point/Counterpoint commentator Dan Aykroyd would say, "Jane, you ignorant slut," and Jane Curtin would rebut with, "Dan, you pompous ass."

Mylan executive chairman Robert Coury and Perrigo Co. CEO and chairman Joseph Papa haven't resorted to name calling, but their rhetorical flourishes leave no doubt that each believes the other's company has serious issues.

"Don't be fooled - Mylan is trying to steal your company," Mr. Papa wrote in a letter Tuesday to shareholders of Dublin-based Perrigo.

Compare that riposte to the salvo Mr. Coury fired during Mylan's Oct. 30 third quarter call: "The notion conveyed by Perrigo that the Mylan offer is a bad deal for Perrigo shareholders is simply preposterous and disingenuous."

Mylan executives were so dismissive of the target of their affection that one analyst wondered why Mylan is willing to pay so much for Perrigo and whether, instead of trying to buy Perrigo, Mylan was encouraging investors to short Perrigo shares, a strategy used by investors who think a stock price is set for a fall.

"You're about to part with a lot of precious capital of your shareholders, yet you seem to be focused on the negatives of the business more than the positives, yet you haven't lowered your price," Deutsche Bank's Gregg Gilbert told Mylan executives.

The war of words between Mylan, which reincorporated in the Netherlands this year to reduce its tax burden but runs operations out of Cecil, and Perrigo began in April when Mylan made an offer that the over-the-counter drug specialist quickly rejected. The bid was sweetened to $75 in cash and 2.3 Mylan shares for each Perrigo share - the proposition currently before Perrigo shareholders.

They have until Friday to tender their shares to Mylan, but the deadline could be extended.

From the start, the party of the first part and the party of the second part have deployed consistent messaging.

Mylan describes its offer as "substantial and compelling," backed by "industrial logic," and "a clear and compelling value proposition relative to Perrigo's standalone plan. …

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