Sunday, April 19, 2009

Facet Biotech Gets New Majority Shareholder

Facet Biotech, the Redwood City drug development company that is facing a proxy fight, now has has a new majority shareholder, according to a regulatory filing Wednesday.

The Baupost Group, a Boston investment company run by Seth Klarman, disclosed owning 4,374,407 shares of Facet, or about 17.8 percent of its outstanding stock. The news was filed on an SC 13D form, the kind of form used by active investors. Although Klarman said he had no plans currently to acquire more shares or to enact any “extraordinary corporate transaction, such as a merger, reorganization or liquidation, he did say that intends “from time to time to discuss with management” issues about the company and its “strategic direction”.

Facet, formed less than four months ago as a spin-off of the drug development operations of PDL Biopharma from its licensing business, was notified last month by Roderick Wong of his intention to nominate four directors of his own choosing to the company’s board as part of his intention that the company liquidate itself.

In a response to Wong issued Monday by the chairman of Facet’s board, the company basically thanked him for his “input” but said it preferred its own plans.

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