BioMarin and Elliott Investment Strike Deal, Add New Board Seats

Biomarin_istock/Michael Vi

Pictured: BioMarin headquarters in California/iStock, Michael Vi

Activist investment firm Elliott Investment Management has struck a deal with California-based BioMarin after purchasing a stake in the company, according to an announcement on Wednesday.

Elliott has become one of the company’s largest investors and BioMarin founded a “cooperation agreement” with the investment firm as well as an information-sharing agreement. BioMarin’s board has also approved three new independent directors to the company, which will go into effect on Dec. 27, expanding its board to 15 directors. However, that board will return to 11 directors by the company’s annual stockholder meeting.

“Our discussions with BioMarin have been positive and productive, and we are pleased to have worked collaboratively to reach this agreement … We believe the changes announced today put BioMarin in the best position to realize its full potential, and we support [new CEO] Alexander Hardy as the right leader for this chapter of BioMarin’s value creation story,” Marc Steinberg, Elliott’s senior portfolio manager, said in a statement. 

The new members of the board include Barbara Bodem, a member of several boards including Syneos Health and most recently served as Interim CFO of dental technology manufacturer Dentsply Sirona, as well as Immunogen CEO Mark Enyedy, and Avenzo Therapeutics CEO Athena Countouriotis.

“Their deep industry experience, leadership expertise, and diverse skills will add valuable insight to our board. Adding these directors and the new committee will build on our board’s extensive work to determine how best to strengthen operational performance, enhance profitability, and create long-term value for our shareholders,” BioMarin board chair Richard Meier said in a statement.

The board has also established a strategic and operating review committee to review the company and “maximize its long-term value.”  It will plan a review of BioMarin’s strategy, business and operations, financial priorities, and long-term plans. BioMarin also intends to hold an investor day next year.

In November 2023, Reuters reported that Elliott purchased a stake in BioMarin for $1 billion citing two unnamed sources. According to the report, Eliott had been in talks with the California biotech for months over its future but the specifics were not given at the time.

BioMarin’s third-quarter financials showed it pulled in $581.3 million, growth of 15% year-over-year which was helped partly by sales of its achondroplasia drug Voxzogo.

Elliott has also been making its presence known in the biotech world in 2023.  In August, the firm reached a deal with Syneos Health to take the company private. That same month, Elliot reached a cooperation agreement with CDMO Catalent.

Tyler Patchen is a staff writer at BioSpace. You can reach him at tyler.patchen@biospace.com. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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