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Boehringer buying SSP shares in takeover bid.

TOKYO, Jan. 17 Kyodo

German pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH began buying up shares Monday in Japanese drug company SSP Co., the German firm said in a takeover bid announcement made by a Japanese subsidiary.

The subsidiary, Nippon Boehringer Ingelheim Co., is bidding from Monday through Feb. 15 to buy shares at 1,100 yen each, against SSP's close of 775 yen on Friday.

Boehringer already controls 19.61% of SSP, Japan's second largest producer of over-the-counter drugs, via Nippon Boehringer Ingelheim and sells its products in Japan through SSP.

The German company wants to boost its holdings in SSP to at least 33.4%, a stake large enough to give the holder veto power to kill strategic decisions.

A Boehringer official said the move is not a hostile bid.

"The purpose of the tender offer is to protect the investment Boehringer has so far made in SSP. The company will support SSP's current management and has no intention to intervene in the day-to-day operations of SSP," the official told reporters.

Boehringer hopes to increase its presence in the Japanese market, which is expected to expand as a result of further deregulation, industry sources said.
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Comment:Boehringer buying SSP shares in takeover bid.
Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Jan 24, 2000
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