(Reuters) – Shareholders of Canadian medical isotope supplier Nordion Inc voted on Friday to support a friendly US$805 million takeover offer by U.S.-based Sterigenics International, clearing a major hurdle facing the deal.
More than 76 percent of votes cast by shareholders backed the offer, satisfying a requirement for two-thirds support, Nordion Chairman Bill Anderson said during the company’s annual and special meeting in Ottawa.
Nordion is one of the world’s leading producers of molybdenum-99, an isotope used in medical imaging. To get its raw material, Nordion depends on an aging nuclear reactor run by state-owned Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) in Chalk River, Ontario. But AECL will not produce reactor-based medical isotopes beyond 2016 and Nordion does not have an alternative supply.
The company announced a strategic review process in January 2013.
Sterigenics, a sterilization services provider owned by U.S. private equity firm GTCR LLC, has twice raised its buyout offer for Nordion from its original US$727 million bid in reaction to an unnamed third party’s interest in buying the company.
Sterigenics has agreed to pay US$13 in cash for each Nordion share. Shares of Nordion were up 0.3 percent at $13.95 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday afternoon.
The deal is expected to close in the second half.
The sale is subject to regulatory approvals, including an Investment Canada review to determine if it is of net benefit to Canada. It also requires approval of legislation that the Canadian government introduced in March to remove a 25 percent cap on foreign investment in Nordion.
(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; editing by Peter Galloway)
(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of peHUB Canada)
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