NEW YORK (AP) -- Drug developer Alpharma Inc. said Friday its board of directors unanimously rejected King Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s hostile $1.6 billion bid, saying it was inadequate and the company has already received better offers.
Bridgewater, N.J.-based Alpharma already rejected a $33 per share, or $1.4 billion offer from King in August, saying it undervalued the company. The latest offer, for $37 per share, marks a 54 percent premium over Alpharma's closing price on Aug. 21, the day before public disclosure of the initial buyout bid.
"We believe other offers or alternatives to the King offer may emerge from this process that will provide shareholders with greater value than $37 per share," said Alpharma President and Chief Executive Dean Mitchell, in a statement. "Indeed, we have received expressions of interest from multiple parties who contacted us following King's public disclosure of its proposal or who our financial advisors solicited at our request."
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mitchell said Alpharma has already received offers better than $37 per share and invited King to participate in the auction process. Shares of Alpharma closed at $36.58 Thursday.
On Sept. 12, King launched a tender offer, taking the $37 offer directly to shareholders. That offer expires Oct. 10. In anticipation of that move, Alpharma adopted a shareholders rights plan, commonly known as a "poison pill," which generally makes a takeover more difficult for the buyer.
Bristol, Tenn.-based King could not be reached for comment early Friday morning. King shares closed at $9.88 Thursday.