Philip Morris increases bid for British drugmaker Vectura to $1.41 billion

In a statement Philip Morris said, it has raised its bid for British drugmaker Vectura to $2.29 (165 pence) per share.

“The PMI (Philip Morris International) increased offer values the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Vectura at approximately 1.02 billion pounds ($1.41 billion),” said the company.

PMI’s latest offer represents a premium of approximately 10 pence per share to U.S.-based Carlyle Group’s offer of 155 pence a share.

Carlyle offered to acquire Vectura for around $1.3 billion (958 million pounds).

Earlier this year, Vectura, which makes respiratory treatments, said it was backing Carlyle’s offer and has withdrawn its recommendation for Philip Morris’ proposal.

Vectura did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

“PMI intends to operate Vectura as an autonomous business unit that will form the backbone of its inhaled therapeutics business,” said Philip Morris in a statement.

The development comes at a time when tobacco companies are trying to change their image after years of negative press and lawsuits for marketing and selling health-harming cigarettes, which according to experts and health advocates continues to be a leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide.

($1 = 0.7209 pounds)

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