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Major Allergan Shareholders Discourage Botox Maker from Buying Salix

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It is no secret that Allergan has been in a war against Valeant Pharmaceuticals and activist investor Bill Ackman, who owns a stake in Allergan, to avoid being taken over by Valeant in what it sees as an offer that “grossly undervalues” the company. Allergan has been eyeing an acquisition of its own, Salix Pharmaceuticals, in an effort to thwart Valeant’s plans. Valeant has been trying to buy Allergan out for $54 billion, but the Botox maker has been cutting costs and is now looking at an acquisition to fight off Valeant.

Jeff Van Harte, chairman and chief investment officer of Jackson Square, which owns a $1 billion stake in Allergan, cautioned the company not to make any bold moves or big deals before consulting with shareholders in December, when a meeting is scheduled to discuss these issues. Van Harte wrote in a letter to Michael Gallagher, the lead independent director of Allergan, according to PRNewswire, “This approach seems to be intended not only to pre-empt shareholder approval, but also to eliminate interest from several bidders for the company.” Jackson Square was also critical of Allergan’s refusal to have talks with Valeant and for not buying back stock when shares were inexpensive.

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T Rowe Price Group, Allergans third largest shareholder, also urged Allergan to avoid making a move without shareholder consent, even though Allergan is legally able to proceed.

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