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$ELN Shareholders Vote in Favor of a Buyback in a Attempt to End Royalty Pharma Bid

Elan Corp. (ELN) shareholders approved a share-repurchase program, a vote that Elan says will force Royalty Pharma to end its unsolicited $6.7 billion takeover bid.

Investors voted against three other transactions, including an investment in Theravance Inc. (THRX)’s royalties, Elan said in a statement today after shareholders met in Dublin, where both companies are based. Royalty Pharma’s offer has been contingent on investors rejecting all transactions proposed by Elan management, according to a ruling by the Irish takeover panel.

The vote may not necessarily end Royalty Pharma’s pursuit. Elan said last week it will invite Royalty Pharma to participate in a formal sale process with other potential suitors. That suggests the two companies may begin negotiations, ending a standoff that has lasted almost four months, said Adrian Howd, an analyst at Berenberg Bank in London.

“By going into a formal sale process and inviting Royalty in, Elan looks to be taking the hostility out a bit,” Howd said before the vote announcement. “They’re saying, ’Whatever happens on Monday, we’re in a sale process now, so if you’re interested, come and talk with us.’”

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