Philip Morris International has raised its bid to buy Vectura to more than £1 billion ($1.4 billion) reports the BBC.
PMI increased its offer to £1.65 per share after U.S. private equity firm Carlyle offered £958 million Friday.
Vectura previously stated that it was backing Carlyle’s offer and withdrawing its recommendation for PMI’s earlier bid. Vectura argued it could be better positioned under Carlyle’s ownership due to “reported uncertainties relating to the impact on Vectura’s wider stakeholders arising as a result of the possibility of the company being owned by PMI.”
“The PMI increased offer values the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Vectura at approximately £1.02 billion,” PMI said in a statement. “PMI intends to operate Vectura as an autonomous business unit that will form the backbone of its inhaled therapeutics business.”
PMI’s bid unleashed a storm of criticism from public health advocates who dislike the idea of a tobacco company investing in the lung health business.
In July, U.K. Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng asked officials to monitor PMI’s proposed takeover of drugmaker Vectura Group.