McKesson fails to gain Celesio shareholder support for takeover bid

SAN FRANCISCO – McKesson Corp. failed to gain enough shareholder support for its recently raised bid to take over rival German drug distributor Celesio.

The San Francisco company’s shares fell Monday after it said in a brief statement that it didn’t get support from roughly three-fourths of Celesio’s stock and bondholders, a condition it needed to complete the deal.

Last Thursday, McKesson had raised its offer to 23.5 euros for each share of Celesio in what it described as its best and final offer. The raised bid equated to about $31.97 per share and was up from an offer of 23 euros that it made last month. The higher bid expired Thursday, which was the same deadline as the previous bid.

Celesio’s shares fell 2.72 euros, more than 11 per cent, to 21.45 euros.

That earlier offer had drawn opposition from the hedge fund Elliot, a major Celesio stakeholder. Elliott owns about a 25 per cent stake in Celesio and had contended that the company was worth more than the $8.3 billion value of the previous offer.

McKesson said last week that it had struck a deal with Elliott to acquire its Celesio convertible bonds if its latest takeover bid succeeded.

McKesson said Monday it will keep looking for ways to strengthen its business “through our disciplined approach to capital allocation.” The company also provides information technology services and medical-surgical supply management.

McKesson shares fell more than 4 per cent, or $7.11, to $168.33 in afternoon trading while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell less than 1 per cent. The stock had advanced more than 3 per cent last Thursday after McKesson announced the higher bid.