Johannesburg - The Bidvest Group [BVT] has "no aspiration" to buy all of Adcock Ingram [JSE:AIP], its chief executive said on Monday, as the share price of its target continued to trade above its planned offer price.
"We have no aspiration to acquire 100% of Adcock," Brian Joffe said in a conference call, adding that some shareholders might not support its planned 52% share offer, or about R6bn ($515m) for shares in Adcock that it does not already own.
Shares in Adcock, in which Bidvest already owns 34.5%, gave up its earlier gains to trade down 0.29% at R52.35 at 12:01. Bidvest was 1.56% lower on R316.65.
Bidvest earlier on Monday posted a 5% increase in half-year profit, helped by strong performance at its food service unit and favourable currency swings.
Bidvest, a conglomerate spanning automobile showrooms, shipping and catering, said diluted headline earnings per share were 877 cents for the six months to the end of December, compared with 835c a year earlier.
Bidvest, which makes more than half of its sales overseas, said revenue increased 16.5% to R104.4bn.
While industrial firms are struggling with weak economic growth and slack demand from consumers battling high personal debt levels, Bidvest has fared better, as its defensive food service unit offset its more cyclical automotive and freight division.
The food service unit, whose trading profit grow by nearly one-third, supplies food to pubs, restaurants and hotels in southern Africa, Europe, South America and Asia.
Bidvest said last week it was preparing to make a R6bn offer for shares it does not already own in local drugmaker Adcock Ingram in a new attempt to build a big presence in the pharmaceutical market.
"While this offer will remove uncertainty around Bidvest’s intention to acquire the remaining Adcock ordinary shares, Adcock shareholders also benefit from a premium to the share trading level over recent months," Bidvest's founder and chief executive, Brian Joffe, said in a statement.
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