Elan surges on renewed takeover speculation


Shares in Irish pharmaceutical company Elan rose by as much as 17 per cent in Dublin this morning on renewed market speculation that Danish drugmaker Lundbeck will make a bid.

Elan soared as much as 76 cents to €5.33 euros, the steepest gain since March 27th.

The stock gained 68 cents to €5.25 as of 9.35am in Dublin. Citigroup has been advising the company since January on options including a merger or sale.

Elan would prefer a partnership with another drugmaker, chief executive officer Kelly Martin said April 22nd.

The shares gained 15 per cent March 26th, also on speculation of a Lundbeck offer. Elan’s American depositary receipts jumped 20 per cent in New York trading yesterday, when the Dublin market was closed.

“The Lundbeck rumour was in the market yesterday, and this has come up before,” said Ian Hunter, an analyst at Goodbody Stockbrokers in Dublin.

“The synergies from a Danish company buying Elan, I just don’t know. The financials don’t make sense either. We can’t see where the fit is.”

Niamh Lyons and Jonathan Birt, external spokespeople for Elan, and Mads Kronborg, a spokesman for Copenhagen-based Lundbeck, didn’t immediately return calls or e-mails seeking comment.