VenBio grabs control of Immunomedics in latest twist
- At Immunomedics' twice-delayed 2016 Annual Meeting of stockholders on Friday, activist investor VenBio Select Advisor's four nominees were voted onto the biotech's board by shareholders.
- Even hours before the annual meeting, Immunomedics continued its pursuit of legal redress against VenBio, claiming violation of federal securities laws and "tainting" the outcome of the vote.
- Despite questions about the future of the company's deal with Seattle Genetics remaining unanswered, Immunomedics' share price seems unflustered, closing at $5.15 on Friday.
The back and forth between Immunomedics and its investors continued this week as VenBio managed to wrest control of the biotech's board once the annual shareholder meeting was finally conducted on March 3.
"We are very pleased with the preliminary results of today’s vote, which clearly show that stockholders agree that real change is needed at Immunomedics. This groundswell of support, following the endorsements of the three leading proxy advisory firms – ISS, Glass Lewis, and Egan Jones – will pave the way for fresh, independent perspectives at the board level and will ensure that stockholders’ interests are strongly represented," said Behzad Aghazadeh, managing partner and portfolio manager at VenBio.
Immunomedics is convinced that a board dominated by VenBio representatives will unwind the Seattle Genetics deal for IMMU-132 and move forward with development and marketing in-house, a decision that it sees as unwise.
While there hasn't been any comment from Immunomedics post-vote, a release on Friday before the meeting stated that the Federal court had denied Immunomedics’ recent motion for emergency relief, ruling "should the Annual Meeting go forward and the VenBio nominees replace the current board, and should [Immunomedics] subsequently prove the election results were tainted, the Court can exercise its equitable power to void the results of the Annual Meeting."
It remains unclear what is going to happen next. The deal with Seattle Genetics, which prompted the actions by the activist investor, is still dependent on a court's decision. A resolution to the lawsuit is expected in the coming weeks.
- VenBio Select Advisor Statement
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