* Welcomes expiry of JLL's $2-a-share bid
* Says believes Lonza bid in the best interests of co

Canadian drugmaker Patheon Inc, which has been witnessing a takeover tussle between U.S. private equity firm JLL Partners and Switzerland's Lonza, said it is exploring the Swiss company's proposal a day after JLL's offer expired.

On Thursday, JLL Partners, which had earlier launched a $2-a-share bid for Patheon's shares, said it would not extend its offer.

After nine months, the expiry of the JLL bid is both overdue and welcome, said Paul Currie, the chairman of the special committee of Patheon said in a statement. The special Committee determined months ago that the bid was inadequate, opportunistic and coercive.

Earlier this month, Lonza launched a $460 million bid that offered $3.55 per share of Patheon.

On Monday, JLL, which is also the majority stakeholder in Patheon, said it would not be interested in selling its stake to the Swiss company.

The special committee believed then and believes now that the pursuit of the Lonza Proposal is in the best interests of Patheon and its shareholders, the company said in a statement.

Shares of Patheon were down 1 Canadian cent at C$3.02 Friday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Ashutosh Joshi in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)