Philip Morris Takeover of U.K. Drugmaker Vectura Near Completion
Philip Morris International Inc. has control of most of Vectura Group Plc’s shares and is in the final stages of taking the U.K. asthma drug maker private.
Philip Morris has acquired about 97% valid acceptances and can now compulsorily acquire any remaining shares, the company said in a statement Friday. The deal had already become unconditional in mid-September, when it obtained majority control. The offer will remain open until further notice.
The Marlboro maker’s controversial $1.4 billion acquisition has garnered criticism from health organizations as they questioned the ethics of a cigarette maker owning a drug maker that develops treatments for respiratory illnesses. Philip Morris, on the other hand, has said Vectura will help accelerate its efforts to move away from cigarettes and even nicotine.
Vectura’s shares will be canceled on the London Stock Exchange on October 19, and the drugmaker will be re-registered as a private limited company at a later point.
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