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said it rejected an unsolicited offer from

King Pharmaceuticals


to buy Alpharma for $37 a share because the offer is "inadequate" and not in the best interests of shareholders.

Alpharma said shareholders shouldn't tender shares to King's latest offer made earlier this month while it continues to pursue a previously announced plan to explore all strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company to King or to another party for more than $37 a share.

In a statement, CEO Dean Mitchell said Alpharma has received "expressions of interest" from multiple parties.

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"We have entered into confidentiality agreements with a number of these parties who have now begun their due diligence review, and have already received a written preliminary indication of interest for a business combination from a party that includes a per share price in excess of the King offer of $37 per share," Mitchell said.

Shares of Alpharma closed Thursday at $36.58.