QLT considers selling assets

Vancouver, British Columbia-Biopharmaceutical company QLT Inc. has hired investment bank Goldman, Sachs & Co. to advise the company on maximizing shareholder value, including a possible sale of part or all of the company’s assets. A special committee of the company’s board also has appointed Morrison & Foerster LLP as legal counsel to report directly to the committee as it considers various alternatives.

Vancouver, British Columbia-Biopharmaceutical company QLT Inc. has hired investment bank Goldman, Sachs & Co. to advise the company on maximizing shareholder value, including a possible sale of part or all of the company’s assets. A special committee of the company’s board also has appointed Morrison & Foerster LLP as legal counsel to report directly to the committee as it considers various alternatives.

“The board of directors believes that the net value of the assets of the company exceeds the value represented by the stock price,” said Boyd Clarke, QLT’s chairman. “We had hoped to address that disconnect through the deployment of our current strategic plan. However, as the gap continues to widen, we have decided that, other than as contractually required, making significant additional investments in all of our current products and technologies would be inconsistent with our objective of maximizing shareholder value. As a result, with the help of external financial advisers, we are exploring all strategic options, which may include sale of all or part of the assets of the company.”

QLT’s research and development efforts are focused on pharmaceutical products in the fields of ophthalmology and dermatology. Using three technology platforms-photodynamic therapy, a drug-delivery system (Atrigel) consisting of biodegradable polymers dissolved in biocompatible carriers, and punctal plugs with drugs-the company has created products to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (Visudyne) and other diseases.