8/19/2014 5:58:36 AM
Allergan Inc. CFO Steps Down
August 19, 2014
By Jessica Wilson, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
Allergan Inc. (AGN), the Irvine, CA-based pharmaceutical company and maker of Botox, said its Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Edwards, will be stepping down, after which Jim Hindman, a 30-year company veteran, will assume the position of CFO. The changing of the guard is happening in the midst of Allergan’s battle to prevent a hostile takeover by Canadian-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) and billionaire investor William Ackman. According to the company, Edwards’ decision to step down has to do with family commitments. Neither the company nor Edwards has intimated that the hostile takeover attempts have anything to do with the leadership change.
David E.I. Pyott, Allergan’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer was quoted in a press release from the company as saying, “After devoting so much time and energy to Allergan, Jeff informed me in February 2014 of his desire to commit more time to his family, and that he was therefore considering stepping down from the Chief Financial Officer position at a later point in 2014.” Edwards also emphasized that the initial commitment made to his family occurred in early 2014.
The family commitment, therefore, occurred well before April 22, the date of the initial bid for takeover by Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Pershing Square Capital Management, Ackman’s hedge fund.
February, however, did mark the partnership of Valeant and Pershing Square. Pershing Square said in a statement on Thursday, August14, that the two companies “formed a partnership in February and acquired a toehold position in Allergan before an offer was made to acquire the company in a merger transaction.” The statement came in the wake of the announcement of an SEC investigation into the buy-out attempts. The hedge fund said that, “There is nothing illegal, unethical, or improper in taking a toehold position before a merger is proposed, even if it is not wanted by the target's management.”
Allergan has rejected three offers by Valeant and Pershing Square on the grounds that they have been too low. Valeant and Pershing Square have not abandoned the buyout, however. The hedge fund has said it will call a meeting of Allergan shareholders to replace board members with new ones who support the acquisition of the company by Valeant.
Several weeks ago, Allergan sued Valeant and Pershing Square for alleged securities violations, contending that the two companies committed insider trading. This is the situation that will greet Jim Hindman as he takes the reigns as CFO. Hindman joined Allergan in 1984 and in 2002 the company appointed him Senior Vice President of Treasury, Risk and Investor Relations. Pyott said that Hindman has been an “instrumental” member of the organization for a long time, but emphasized that “particularly during the past few months, [Hindman] has played an important leadership role.”
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