Chile’s CFR accuses South Africa pension fund of protectionism

Chile’s CFR Pharmaceuticals (SGO:CFR) has accused South Africa’s state pension fund of protectionism for opposing its $1.2 billion bid for drugmaker Adcock Ingram, a sensitive charge in a country keen to attract capital but wary of foreign takeovers. The state-run Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Adcock’s (JNB:AIP) top shareholder, on Sunday rejected a sweetened cash and stock bid from Santiago-based CFR, saying it wanted all cash. CFR Chief Executive Alejandro Weinstein shot back in a statement on Tuesday saying the PIC’s real objection was to foreign ownership, citing comments by the fund’s chief investment officer in July that it would prefer a local owner. While South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has a history of blocking takeovers by overseas firms, or foisting onerous conditions on deals, the government itself has backed CFR’s 12.8 billion rand ($1.2 billion) takeover.


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