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Elan moves to block takeover bid

DUBLIN — Irish drug maker Elan Corp. said Monday that it will pay shareholders a recurring special dividend linked to the sales of the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri.

Analysts said the offer, contingent on Elan’s pending sale of its Tysabri rights to partner Biogen Idec Inc., was designed to deter shareholders from considering a takeover bid by Royal Pharma.

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Elan said it planned to pay shareholders 20 percent of its Tysabri royalties received from Biogen Idec twice annually beginning in the fourth quarter this year.

Elan and Biogen Idec, based in Weston, Mass., jointly developed Tysabri and have split earnings since the drug’s launch in the US market in 2004.

Last month Elan agreed to sell its interest in Tysabri to Biogen Idec for $3.25 billion in cash and recurring royalty payments.

Royal Pharma launched a $6.5 billion bid for Elan on Feb. 25 that values the Dublin-based company at approximately $11 a share.

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