Dechra extends deadline for £4.6bn takeover offer

Dechra Pharmaceuticals, the Cheshire-based international veterinary drugs giant, said on Thursday it has extended the deadline for a possible £4.63 billion all-cash takeover offer from Swedish private equity firm EQT from May 11 to June 2.

Dechra said on April 13 it entered into discussions with EQT over the possible deal.

Under the possible offer, Dechra shareholders would receive £40.70 per share in cash at that price, a roughly 47% premium.

Bloomberg reported that EQT is in talks with lenders to raise up to £1.2 billion to support its potential takeover of Dechra in what would be one of the largest take-private deals in the UK this year.

Northwich-based Dechra said on April 13 it informed EQT that it would recommend the possible deal if EQT announced a firm intention to make an offer.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority would be a co-investor with EQT.

On Thursday, Dechra said in a stock exchange statement: “With the support of Dechra’s management and board, EQT has made substantial progress towards completing its confirmatory due diligence and preparing the documentation necessary to implement a firm offer pursuant to Rule 2.7 of the Code.

“To facilitate EQT to finalise its due diligence, the company has requested, and the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers has consented to, an extension to the PUSU Deadline.

“Consequently, in accordance with Rule 2.6(a) of the Code, EQT is now required, by not later than 5.00 pm (London time) on 2 June 2023 either to announce a firm intention to make an offer for Dechra in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code or to announce that it does not intend to make an offer, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Code applies.

“This revised deadline may be extended further, at the request of the Board of Dechra and with the consent of the Takeover Panel, in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code.

“The board of Dechra confirmed to EQT its intention to recommend an offer on these terms.

“In the event that a firm offer is made, it is currently contemplated that the Private Equities investment department (Abu Dhabi Investment Authority PED) of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), through a wholly-owned subsidiary of ADIA, would be a co-investor with EQT.

“There can be no certainty that a firm offer will be made. A further statement will be made when appropriate.”