Plagued By Multiple Facility Break-ins and Bad Management Decisions, Viropro Inc. Implements Restructuring Plan
Published: Feb 03, 2015
February 3, 2015
By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
California-based biopharmaceutical company Viropro Inc. announced on Monday that its board of directors has started to implement a restructuring plan at the company that comes after a strategic review, which included an assessment of a spate of recent break-ins at the Alpha Biologics facility in Malaysia.
The break-ins were in part due to management’s failure to pay utility bills and provide security. The Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad seized the facility, and then appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services as receiver and manager. In turn, PWC initiated the sale of all of the assets of Alpha to recover its outstanding loan to the bank.
"We are deeply disappointed about the series of events which has culminated in our having to write off the investment in Alpha," said Bruce Cohen, chairman of the Viropro Board. "In spite of enormous efforts by our Board of Directors and our largest shareholder, we were unable to overcome the challenges we inherited.”
The company said the board of directors has decided that the best way to provide value to shareholders at this point is to initiate a series of acquisitions. The goal is to provide shareholders with a risk-diversified exposure to a number of businesses with a potential upside.
“We continue to be dismayed by the apparent lack of willingness on the part of BPMB and PWC to cooperate with us in order to achieve a fair outcome for the many stakeholders in Alpha, but we are at the same time enthusiastic about the prospects of our strategy going forward,” Cohen continued. “These are very exciting times in the life sciences industry, and we believe that Viropro is uniquely positioned to create enduring shareholder value."
The Opposition to Asset Sales
In December 2014, Viropro made a statement that voiced its opposition to the sale of its assets in Malaysia. The company also claimed that PWC did not notify Viropro of its plans to liquidate the company by virtue of a complete asset sale.
“We continue to be dismayed by what appears to be a process that is insensitive to the claims of former employees, the interests of all of the creditors and the economic development strategy of Malaysia,” Cohen stated, at the time of the announcement. “The most expedient way to resolve the situation at Alpha is to negotiate in good faith a debt restructuring that will allow Alpha to generate revenue sufficient to pay its creditors. Regrettably, our proposals to BPMB have been rejected without a counteroffer.”
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