Dennis Gillings founded Quintiles, one of the world’s largest contract research organizations, took it public, and last week won a battle to regain control of it.

Gillings and his partners will pay some $1.7 billion for Quintiles at $14.25 a share. That’s $3.25 more a share than he offered originally, adding some $400 million to the deal.

Gillings, who still owns 6 percent of Quintiles stock, formed a new venture, Pharma Services, to make his Quintile bid. To finance the deal, he secured $415.7 million in equity commitment from One Equity Partners and debt commitments of $875 million from Citicorp. Citicorp advised Pharma Services on the deal. Some $586 million in cash from Quintiles also is to be used to finance the deal, the company said in a statement.

Meanwhile, another Triangle firm is locked in a battle for control of its destiny.

Salix Pharmaceuticals and Canadian rival Axcan Pharma are involved in a takeover fight. Axcan launched a hostile bid of $8.75 a share, or $203 million, after recent talks about a possible merger were stopped by Salix.

Despite increasing sales of its drug Colazal, which fights ulcerative colitis, Salix stock has traded as low as $4.29 over the past year after hitting a high of $17.95. It has another drug, which fights traveler’s diarrhea, in the FDA approval pipeline.

Axcan also develops and sells intestinal drugs — one of the reasons the companies have talked on and off about working together.

Salix has adopted a poison pill defense against a hostile takeover.

Leon Gosselin, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Axcan, went public with the offer and sent out a press release containing the letter, citing a refusal of Salix to meet to discuss a buyout. Recently, David Mims, the chief operating officer of Salix, cancelled a meeting on short notice.

“We are resolute in pursuing this course, but continue to believe that a negotiated agreement is in the best interest of your stockholders,” Gosselin wrote.

Here’s a look at last week’s headlines:


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