Ares-Serono S.A. said Tuesday that it completed its tender offer andaccepted for payment 711,567 shares of InterPharm Laboratories Ltd.that were validly tendered by Monday.The Swiss-based company paid $22 per share, and upped its ownershipof Israeli-based InterPharm from 76 percent to 87.7 percent. About 48percent of the shares Ares-Serono didn't already own were tendered."We are very pleased with the results of this tender offer, in which asignificant portion of the minority shareholders sold their shares at afair price," said Ernesto Bertarelli, deputy CEO at Ares-Serono. "Ibelieve this process also made clear that we will not respond now _ orever _ to intimidation or threats from the small group of dissidentshareholders who are trying to coerce us into buying their shares at aridiculously high price."A series of lawsuits were filed by InterPharm shareholders, oneinvolving the sale to Ares-Serono of a beta interferon cell bank. Ares-Serono's tender offer, which would have totaled $33 million if allshares had been sold, was extended from its original June 6 deadline.The original offer also stipulated, before being amended, that it wasconditional on Ares-Serono acquiring at least 75 percent of the shares itdidn't already own. _ Jim Shrine

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