Private investor Ronald Chez, who in recent months has increased his stake in Repligen to eight per cent, made the proposal after talking to other stockholders and investment bankers. Chez said failed efforts, financial results and stock market performance at Repligen prompted the discussions.
Following the talks Chez made several proposals to Repligen. “The bioprocessing assets may be more effectively monetised by another enterprise with a better sales infrastructure than that which currently exists at Repligen”, Chez wrote in a letter to the board of directors.
Repligen supplies recombinant Protein A and chromatography resins from its bioprocessing unit. Users of its supplies include producers of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and vaccines, as well as contract manufacturing organisations (CMO).
In its first quarter results, released in July, Repligen outlined its plans for bioprocessing. “We are currently expanding our commercial infrastructure to support our initiative to increase sales of our proprietary products directly to end-user customers”, Repligen wrote.
Expanding commercial infrastructure would allow Repligen to bypass suppliers that have acted as middle-men between the company and end-user customers. However, Chez is unsure of the plan.
“The fact that [Repligen] owns bioprocessing assets should not require [it] to build overhead and organisation, unless the board determines that [this use of resources] is the best path to enhance shareholder value, which I would doubt”, Chez wrote.
Chez made two other proposals. Repligen should: immediately add a policy that requires directors and officers to be stockholders; and rescind the Rights Agreement, implemented in 2003, which is known to deter takeovers.
Laura Whitehouse, vice president of market development at Repligen, declined to answer questions from in-PharmaTechnologist but emailed a statement. Whitehouse said: “As always, we will continue to have discussions with our investors to seek input on the best way to maximise shareholder value.”