The drama surrounding the inhalable drug delivery specialist Vectura (LON:VEC) continues.
On Monday, Philip Morris boosted its offer to acquire Vectura to 165 pence ($2.30) per share, beating Carlyle’s latest offer of 155 pence ($2.16).
In July, Philip Morris (NYSE:PM) agreed to acquire inhaled drug delivery technology developer Vectura for $1.2 billion, drawing criticism from the American Lung Association, British Thoracic Society and other health organizations.
Earlier, the private equity firm Carlyle Group (Washington, D.C.) had aimed to acquire Vectura. The company had submitted an offer that Vectura had accepted before Philip Morris upped its bid.
Today, the London Stock Exchange created an auction process for Vectura that gives Philip Morris and Carlyle until 5 p.m. London time on Aug. 10 to make final bids.
Vectura is a contract development and manufacturing organization specializing in developing drugs and devices for inhalable medicines, including asthma. Its customers include large pharma firms such as Novartis, Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline.
Philip Morris is looking to expand its business beyond traditional cigarettes and has a goal of obtaining more than half of its net revenue from smoke-free products by 2025. The company has called for an eventual ban on cigarettes but currently generates three-fourths of its revenue from Marlboros and other cigarettes.
Amidst the interest from two suitors, Vectura’s stock increased by £5.49 per share at close.
FTI Consulting is acting as an M&A advisor to Vectura.