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Starboard Value gives $600 million for 4.6% stake in Perrigo

Staff Writer |
Activist investor group Starboard Value has spent $600 million to buy a 4.6% stake of pharmaceutical company Perrigo, before chastising the Dublin-registered company for its management practices.

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Starboard have urged Perrigo to focus once again on its core assets, rather than the likes of its prescription-based business.

In a letter sent to the drugmaker on Sunday, Starboard also criticised the company's decisions in the aftermath of rejecting a $26bn takeover from generic rival Mylan.

The letter, signed by chief executive officer Jeff Smith, remarks that "in order to convince Perrigo shareholders to reject Mylan's offer, management and the board made aggressive promises of drastic improvements in both financial and stock price performance".

Shares of Perrigo have dropped from close to $200 to near $80 since its rejection of the Mylan offer, when it said that it would be better off alone than merging with another pharmaceutical group. Its market capitalisation has now lost over half its value at $12.7bn.

Starboard put pressure on Perrigo to sell off its prescription-based business, as well as its partnership with multiple-sclerosis treatment Tysabri.

Perrigo responded by saying that it would take the letter into consideration and that it "looks forward to a constructive and productive dialogue with Starboard-as we do with all of our shareholders-while we execute on a number of strategic and operational initiatives."