The Telegraph
Tuesday , April 29 , 2014
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Delisting prop for Fulford

Mumbai, April 28: Shares of Fulford (India) Ltd — a domestic subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co — today surged 20 per cent to hit the upper circuit after its board approved a delisting offer by the parent company.

On the Bombay Stock Exchange, the Fulford scrip jumped 20 per cent, or Rs 137.15, to Rs 823.

The delisting offer will be made by Dashtag, which came under Merck’s fold when it acquired Schering-Plough for $41 billion in 2009. Dashtag is a majority shareholder of Fulford.

Dashtag will undertake a book-building exercise, which will have a floor price of Rs 701.70 per share.

The indicative price, however, is expected to be much higher at Rs 1,150.

In a communication to the stock exchanges on April 26, Fulford had said its board had approved the delisting offer and the company would seek the approval of the shareholders through postal ballot.

Dashtag owns about 75 per cent stake in Fulford, or 29.23 lakh shares, and plans to acquire over 9.76 lakh shares held by the minority shareholders.

As on March 31, 2014, mutual funds held close to 4 per cent in Fulford India, while the rest were spread between corporate bodies and individual shareholders.

Dashtag said it intended to get full control of Fulford so that it provided “enhanced operational flexibility’’ to its business in India.

It added that the low liquidity of the Fulford stock would enable shareholders to exit at an attractive price.

For the quarter ended December 31, Fulford had posted a net profit of Rs 3.48 crore on revenues of around Rs 56 crore.

Merck, known as MSD outside the US and Canada, operates in India through three separate entities. They are MSD Pharmaceuticals, Organon (India) and Fulford (India) Ltd.

MSD is present in various therapeutic areas, including metabolics, cardiovascular, vaccines, critical care, immunology, virology and oncology. It offers a diversified product portfolio of over 75 brands.