Poolbeg Pharma, an infectious disease company formed out of Irish vaccine research firm Open Orphan, has confirmed it will sell £1.6m (€1.9m) of shares to new investors.
Shares received from Open Orphan shareholders when the company went public in London in July 2021 were “locked” until last week, meaning they could not be sold or redeemed.
The company announced today that it has accepted an offer from “new investors” to buy the shares at 5.9p – the closing price on April 8th.
Poolbeg shareholders wanted to sell £366,000 worth of shares, 3 per cent of the total blocked shares.
The remaining 97 percent of restricted shares — known as “distribution in specie” shares — will be retained by shareholders.
The company did not want to raise new capital through the sale.
Poolbeg chairman Cathal Friel said the move shows “very strong confidence” in the company and he expects “materially increased liquidity” of Poolbeg’s shares on the open market.
“We are pleased to see that the vast majority of shareholders have elected to remain invested in Poolbeg for the in-kind distribution,” he said.
“We have been pleased to see interest from new investors, which ensures that any potential shares sold through this initiative will go to committed, long-term investors.
“We remain optimistic that some, if not all, of these new investors will now seek to buy Poolbeg stock on the open market given their interest in and belief in Poolbeg’s story as it enters the exciting clinical phase of its development.” .”
The London-listed company, whose advisory board includes biochemistry professor Luke O’Neill, announced a £2.3 million loss for 2021, including one-off costs from the group’s formation last summer .
It recorded £20.9m (€25.2m) in cash after raising £23.2m for its initial public offering (IPO) last July.
The company operates on a “capital light” model that aims to transform the way infectious diseases are treated in a fast and cost-effective manner.
Mr. Friel is Poolbeg’s largest single shareholder and co-founder of vaccine research company Open Orphan. He said earlier this year he would make it a “duty” to increase the stock price despite “extremely challenging” market conditions.
Poolbeg’s shares have fallen by more than half since it was listed last July.
Mr Friel said the price volatility was due to the “overhang” of restricted shares.
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/poolbeg-pharma-confirms-16m-share-sale-41593216.html Poolbeg Pharma confirms £1.6m share sale