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Alpharma adopts shareholder rights plan against King

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

Alpharma has adopted a limited-duration shareholder rights plan to fend off King Pharmaceuticals' unsolicited bid to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Alpharma for $33 per share. Alpharma rejected the offer last month, describing it as "inadequate" and "not in the best interests of our shareholders" (Scrip Online, August 27th, 2008). Dean Mitchell, Alpharma president and CEO, said the short-term plan was "both prudent and appropriate … to ensure that the Alpharma board has adequate time to consider the best approach to protect and enhance the interests of Alpharma's shareholders". Under the plan, the rights will become exercisable if a person acquires 15% or more of Alpharma class A common stock or starts a tender offer that could result in that person owning 15% or more of the stock. The plan will expire on September 1st, 2009. The US FDA has accepted Alpharma's NDA for its abuse-deterrent formulation of long-acting morphine, Embeda, and has designated it for priority review.

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