Late last month Lonza tabled a $460m (€321m) bid that bettered JLL’s standing $285m offer and was well received by the special committee of independent directors that Patheon set up to assess takeover offers.
Despite the contract manufacturing organisation’s (CMO) reaction, a statement issued earlier this week suggests that JLL will stand its ground and continue its pursuit of Patheon.
JLL said it “informed Lonza, the Lonza Supervisory Board of Directors and the Patheon Special Committee that [it] will not enter into negotiations regarding the … proposal and that its Patheon shares are not for sale.”
The New York-headquartered firm reiterated that its 57 per cent stake in Patheon means that Lonza cannot achieve the 67 per cent holding needed to secure a takeover, and added it “will pursue all means necessary to protect its investment.”
The group also reminded fellow shareholders that Patheon’s “special committee does not speak for JLL and cannot cause JLL to sell its shares or approve a transaction with Lonza.”
JLL’s reaction to the Lonza offer echoes the description of its own bid by chair of Patheon’s special committee, Paul Currie, who has variously described JLL's valuation as “inadequate”, “opportunistic” and “increasingly irrelevant” in recent months.
Currie reiterated this position in a letter sent to JLL last week and suggested that it may be possible to proceed with some aspects of the Lonza deal without the US investment group’s involvement.
He said that: “A transaction involving the acquisition by Lonza of the millions of restricted voting shares not owned by JLL may well occur without the concurrence or support of JLL.
“Moreover, there are a number of possible strategic transactions with Lonza that would be beneficial to the Company and its shareholders that can be completed without the concurrence of JLL.”