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INC CLAIMS INTEREST IN ACQUIRING UP TO 25% OF SCHERING AG

Executive Summary

INC CLAIMS INTEREST IN ACQUIRING UP TO 25% OF SCHERING AG voting securities, California-based ICN Pharmaceuticals declared Nov. 3. ICN said that "it has taken an investment position in Schering consistent with its previously stated policy to acquire all or part of health care companies to obtain worldwide marketing capabilities." Without disclosing its current position in the German company, ICN said that "subject to certain conditions it is considering purchasing up to 25% of the voting securities of Schering AG." Schering, in a statement released a day earlier, announced that it had "been informed by ICN Pharmaceuticals . . . that ICN intends to acquire and hold Schering stock with a value of over $ 15 mil.," or about 1%. Schering added that "ICN has stated that this stock holding may be increased to a holding of up to 25% of Schering's total shares." Schering said it was opposed to the acquisition and has "notified ICN Pharmaceuticals that Schering regards any sizeable purchase of its stock as unwelcome." The California company maintains it has "never effectuated an unfriendly transaction in its history." Schering is expecting to block a substantial ICN stock purchase by antitakeover limitations on voting rights already in place. "The limitation of voting rights at DM ]deutsch marks[ 12 million per value which makes it impossible for a shareholder to vote more than 4.2% of the issued shares, clearly demonstrates the desire of Schering's stockholders to assure a wide distribution of Schering stock," the German firm said. For ICN, the Schering stock purchase is a second grasp at a much bigger European firm. ICN is pursuing a company with 1987 pharmaceutical sales of approximately $ 1.3 bil. (versus its own $ 121 mil.). The firm said that one of its "major objectives" is "to acquire marketing and distribution channels in the world's 15 largest pharmaceutical markets." To that end, ICN has raised "substantial funds" over the past three years in private and public debt and equity offerings in the U.S. and Europe, the firm said. For ICN, the Schering stock purchase is a second grasp at a much bigger European firm. ICN is pursuing a company with 1987 pharmaceutical sales of approximately $ 1.3 bil. (versus its own $ 121 mil.). The firm said that one of its "major objectives" is "to acquire marketing and distribution channels in the world's 15 largest pharmaceutical markets." To that end, ICN has raised "substantial funds" over the past three years in private and public debt and equity offerings in the U.S. and Europe, the firm said. ICN reportedly made about $ 30 mil. in March when it sold the 8.6% voting stake it had acquired in Hoffmann-LaRoche. ICN had purchased the equity position for an aggregate amount of $ 209 mil. ("The Pink Sheet" March 29, T&G-1).
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