Scotland business

Bio-tech firm fights hostile bid

Dundee bio-tech firm Axis-Shield faces a tough task in fighting off a hostile bid from an American rival.

The medical diagnostics company, based jointly in Tayside and in Norway, is being sought by Alere, with a bid valuing the Scottish company at £230m.

Alere, based in Massachusetts, has increased its shareholding in Axis-Shield and forced a rival bidder to pull out.

Axis-Shield's main product is a testing kit for cholesterol.

The firm told the stock market that it has been in discussion with an unnamed rival bidder, which it described as "a very credible third party".

The company's directors said the Alere offer undervalued its potential.

But after Alere announced that it had secured almost 30% of shares - the maximum number it can buy on the open market - the other bidder has withdrawn.

It may later re-join talks if the Alere bid fails.