Stockholders in the UK biotech firm Alizyme, which went into liquidation almost three years ago, have been warned about the veracity of offers that are circulating for their shares.
Alizyme went bust in July 2009 and administrators Ian Carr and Nigel Morrison, partners at tax advisory firm Grant Thornton, took over in December that year, to work on the "realisation of various assets and adjudication of certain significant claims". Liquidation came after Alizyme failed to get sufficient funding for Colal-Pred, its flagship product for ulcerative colitis.
Now, the administrators have issued a statement alerting Alizyme shareholders to be on their guard regarding offers. They say that "in recent weeks, it has come to our attention that a number of shareholders are being approached with offers to purchase their shares".
They add that "it is not appropriate for the liquidators to advise the shareholders as to whether to enter into any correspondence with these offerors, or whether they should consider selling their shares to any other third party". However, the administrators stress the need to conduct "appropriate investigations and due diligence…to satisfy themselves that it is a genuine good faith offer".
Messrs Carr and Morrison note that some shareholders have been asked to provide their bank details. They add that "it is not for us to comment on whether this is unusual or suspicious", but say stockholders should consider whether disclosure of such details "would be appropriate and necessary and could not be misused".
The administrators concluded by noting that the process with regards to Alizyme's assets need to be "more fully resolved" before they can advise on the likelihood of any return to shareholders.
When Alizyme went into liquidation, Mr Carr claimed that the Cambridge-headquartered group, which was founded in 1995, owned valuable intellectual property. At the time, there were rumours that Japan's Takeda, which licensed rights in Japan in August 2003 to Alizyme's obesity drug cetilistat may make a move on the firm.