(Reuters) - Allergan Inc shareholders have told activist investor William Ackman, who along with Valeant Pharmaceuticals is trying to buy Botox maker Allergan Inc that they would support a deal at $180 per share, Ackman said Monday.
Valeant and Ackman, who owns almost 10 percent of Allergan through Pershing Square Capital Management, are in the midst of a hostile takeover battle for Allergan that began with a joint bid on April 22.
Allergan rejected that first offer and Valeant responded by raising its offer on May 28 to about $163 per share. Investors did not think that offer was high enough and shares in both companies fell over doubts about the deal.
Ackman, speaking on CNBC in his first public appearance regarding the takeover attempt since it was announced, said that he met with Allergan shareholders on May 29 and was told they would support the deal at $180 per share.
"We are going to take over Allergan," Ackman said.
The days after Ackman met with investors, May 30, Valeant raised its offer to include $72 in cash for a per share value of about $177 and a total value of more than $53 billion. In that offer, Ackman agreed to take only Valeant stock, freeing up Valeant to offer more cash to other shareholders.
Ackman filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission to hold a special shareholder meeting to vote in new members of the Allergan board of directors. The current board has adopted a "poison pill" measure that will dilute shares if Ackman increases his Allergan stake.
During the CNBC interview, Ackman defended Valeant's business model, which has been criticized for its serial acquisitions, and his own purchase of Allergan shares. Ackman's stake has increased by more than $1 billion since he purchased it before making the joint bid with Valeant, regulatory documents show.
Allergan shares closed on Friday at $165 and Valeant shares closed at $127.46, both on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Caroline Humer, Editing by Franklin Paul and Sofina Mirza-Reid)