PDL Biopharma mulls a sale, pledges to dissolve by end of 2020

The Nevada-based company first enlisted financial advisors to assess its strategy in September 2019 and resolved three months later to close up shop. (blickpixel/Pixabay)

Back in December, PDL Biopharma decided to call it quits. The onetime antibody developer weighed options to “unlock the value of its portfolio,” and now, has arrived at a plan to completely liquidate the company and dissolve it by the end of the year. PDL’s board approved the plan in February.

The Nevada-based company first enlisted financial advisors to assess its strategy in September 2019 and resolved three months later to close up shop. It looked into various options, including selling the company, or parts of it, as well as a spinoff transaction or a merger.

Since then, PDL has worked to get cash to its shareholders via share repurchases, cash dividends and other methods. It is mulling the sale of the entire company, or of its holdings of Evofem Biosciences, as well as its portfolio of royalty assets and its Noden and Lensar subsidiaries. If selling the company “will not optimize stockholder returns,” PDL will file a certificate of dissolution in Delaware by the end of the year.

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"Based on the strong progress made to date and through the leadership of our board of directors and the commitment of our employees, we now believe that we can either execute a whole Company sale or monetize our key assets and distribute a significant portion of the net proceeds to our stockholders by the end of 2020,” said PDL CEO Dominique Monnet in a statement on Wednesday.

PDL started out in 1986 as Protein Design Labs, a company focused on monoclonal antibodies. Its antibody humanization technology has been used in various medicines, including Genentech’s cancer drugs Avastin and Herceptin, giving PDL a royalty revenue stream. In 2008, the company decided to split up its royalty assets from its development programs, spinning the latter off into Facet Biotech with more than $400 million in funding.

In 2013, PDL invested $60 million in cataract surgery player Lensar and, four years later, absorbed it as a subsidiary. In 2016, it poured $75 million into Noden Pharma to get its hands on Tekturna, the hypertension drug Noden picked up from Novartis.

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