Tobacco giant, Philip Morris has raised its offer to buy respiratory drug maker, Vectura to over £1bn.

Philip Morris in a statement said, “The PMI (Philip Morris International) increased offer values the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Vectura at approximately £1.02bn ($1.41bn).

“PMI intends to operate Vectura as an autonomous business unit that will form the backbone of its inhaled therapeutics business.”

Vectura increased its offer to £1.65 ($2.29) per share after US private equity firm Carlyle offered £958m ($1.3bn).

However, it is yet respond to requests for comment on the new bid.

Vectura had previously said it was backing Carlyle’s offer and withdrawing its recommendation for Philip Morris’.

The respiratory drug maker had revealed it believed it could be better positioned under Carlyle’s ownership, also noting that the “reported uncertainties relating to the impact on Vectura’s wider stakeholders arising as a result of the possibility of the company being owned by PMI (Philip Morris)”.

Te company has agreed to develop a potential inhaled treatment for Covid-19 with Inspira, a UK-based pharmaceuticals company focused on developing therapies for respiratory and infectious diseases.

Vectura are makers of inhaled medicines and devices to treat respiratory illnesses such as asthma, and counts Novartis and GSK among its customers.

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