|The IDB saga ends.|
UPDATE 2-ID Biomedical shareholders approve Glaxo takeover
Wed Nov 16, 2005 06:06 PM ET
(Adds quotes, background)
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov 16 (Reuters) - ID Biomedical Corp. (IDB.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) (IDBE.O: Quote, Profile, Research) shareholders approved a C$1.7 billion ($1.4 billion) takeover bid by Britain's GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK.L: Quote, Profile, Research) on Wednesday, a deal that will boost the presence of Europe's biggest drugmaker in the flu vaccine business.
Canadian vaccine maker ID Biomedical told a special shareholders meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, that more than 80 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the takeover.
Glaxo offered C$35 for each ID Biomedical share, a 13 percent premium to the Vancouver-based company's closing share price on Sept. 6, the day before the deal was announced.
ID Biomedical shares closed up 21 Canadian cents at C$34.60 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Glaxo has an existing flu vaccine, Fluarix, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August. ID Biomedical's vaccine, Fluviral, has been granted fast track status by the FDA, which will expedite the review.
ID Biomedical also has a "pandemic preparedness" contract with the Canadian government, under which it would switch production to make more than 30 million doses of vaccine to cover every person in Canada.
Many industry experts believe the vaccine business will show accelerated growth in coming years amid a shake-out in the sector, new technologies and fears of a bird flu pandemic.
Some analysts have suggested Glaxo's bid is too low, but after the vote ID Biomedical chief executive Anthony Holler dismissed those concerns.
"The GSK deal is a pretty good deal for the shareholders," he said. "I'd evidence that by saying that we have a very highly sophisticated pharmaceutical industry out there and we did not get a higher bid for the company."
Holler said the deal must still receive the approval of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, as well as trade and competition boards in Canada and the United States.
He expected the takeover to be completed by the end of this year or early next year.
Holler said he anticipated some job losses, but he believed Glaxo would create more employment opportunities in the long run.
He added that Glaxo will likely continue most of ID Biomedical's current operations and research programs.
"I would say by and large the work that ID Biomedical was doing, GSK will carry on."