Omega Pharma C.E.O. Succeeds in Takeover

Marc Coucke, the founder and chief executive of Belgian health products distributor
Omega Pharma, has succeeded in a $1.1 billion takeover of the company, Reuters reported. Coucke’s investment vehicle, Couckinvest, now owns 91.32% of the company, which sells non-prescription products to pharmacists.

(Reuters) – Omega Pharma said on Tuesday its founder and Chief Executive Marc Coucke had succeeded with his $1.1 billion takeover of the Belgian health products distributor.

Coucke’s investment vehicle Couckinvest now owns 91.32 percent of the company, which sells non-prescription products to pharmacists.

Euronext Brussels said that Omega Pharma would be removed from Belgium’s benchmark Bel-20 index on Thursday. Companies must have a free float of at least 15 percent to be in the index.

Omega Pharma said the bid would reopen until Jan. 6 at the same offer price of 36 euros per share, valuing the company at some 880 million euros ($1.15 billion).

The Belgian firm announced the bid from Coucke in September. He has said a delisted entity would be better able to invest in brands and expansion.

Omega sells prescription-free medicines and healthcare products, over-the-counter (OTC) items such as wart treatments, mosquito repellant, vitamins, pregnancy tests and sun tan lotions.

It competes with the OTC arms of pharma giants such as Johnson & Johnson and Bayer and of consumer product groups from Procter & Gamble to Reckitt Benckiser .

Omega, the only sizeable stand-alone OTC company, ranks just outside the top 10 in that market, with sales last year of 857 million euros.

Couckinvest will finance the bid with a bank loan and a capital injection from private equity group Waterland and a small number of co-investors.

The takeover was contingent on receiving acceptances representing at least 90 percent of the company.

KBC Securities is advising the company’s directors. BNP Paribas, Fortis and ING are advisers to Couckinvest. ($1 = 0.767 Euros) (Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Rex Merrifield and Jane Merriman)