Valeant and Ackman score a chance to force Allergan to an earlier showdown

Delaware Court of Chancery’s Chancellor Andre Bouchard has ordered a three-day trial to begin on 6 October, a start date that’s in line with Valeant and partner Mr Bill Ackman’s legal request for a special meeting by mid-Novber.That’s a month earlier than the 18 Decber date Allergan set earlier for the meeting, where Mr Ackman and Valeant hope to send the majority of the Botox-maker’s board packing and cancel out its poison pill defence.Allergan, for its part, has said it needs the extra time to determine whether Mr Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Managent – now the California-based Allergan’s largest shareholder – had violated securities laws when acquiring its 9.7% stake. By rushing the meeting, we believe Valeant and Pershing Square are attpting to deprive stockholders of material information regarding their alleged insider trading violations, an Allergan company spokesman said in a statent on 27 August.But in setting the expedited trial date, Chancellor Bouchard said it was apparent to him that Allergan may not want a special meeting at all .The way Valeant and Mr Ackman see it, the sooner the meeting date, the less time Allergan has to strike a deal for another company, which would in turn thwart their merger attpts. Rumors about an acquisition of Allergan’s own have been swirling since the team put its first offer on the table, with the latest centering on North-Carolina based Salix.

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