(Reuters) – Merger talks between Allergan (NYSE:AGN) and white knight Actavis (ACT) are focused on narrowing a gap of about $3 billion between what has been offered and what is wanted, Bloomberg reported today.
Actavis is willing to pay around $200 per share, or $60 billion, while Allergan wants more than $210 per share, the news service said.
Actavis and Allergan declined to comment.
Allergan is trying to fend off a hostile takeover by Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX, TSE:VRX), which has offered about $54 billion in cash and stock for the company, but has said it is prepared to raise that to $200 per share.
Allergan said last week it was in talks with a 2nd bidder, and sources familiar with the situation said the company was Actavis.
Separately, Allergan today changed its bylaws on calling a special shareholder meeting. The move comes ahead of a special meeting at which shareholders will vote on a proposal by activist investor William Ackman, who wants a rule change allowing the investors who requested the gathering to set the date for it.
Changing the bylaws is just 1 of the proxy proposals made by Ackman, who also wants to remove board members and compel Allergan into takeover talks.
The amended laws now include a provision that requires Allergan’s board to call for a meeting within 90 days of a valid request rather than exercise its discretion, Allergan said.
The company also reduced the amount of information required from someone calling for a special meeting, and eliminated a requirement to disclose who is acting in concert with the shareholder making the proposal.
Ackman and proxy advisory firms pressured Allergan to change these rules, saying they were too onerous.
Allergan shares were up 46¢ at $195.80 in afternoon trading, while Valeant was $1.07 higher at $131.10.