Elan puts itself up for sale

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Irish drug company Elan has put itself up for sale as it tries to fend off a hostile bid from biotech investor Royalty Pharma.

The Dublin-based firm urged its shareholders not to buy into Royalty’s current offer, worth a potential $8 billion (£5.1bn), but said the US company would be invited to participate in the formal sale process.

Royalty’s bid values Elan at 
$13 per share, with a further $2.50 if sales targets are met, but Elan said this “grossly undervalues” its multiple sclerosis treatment.

Pablo Legorreta, Royalty’s chief executive, described the sale process as a “frustrating tactic” and said the bid may “forced off the table” if Elan’s shareholders approve two sets of defensive acquisitions on Monday.