Dallas, Texas 05/29/2014 (FINANCIALSTRENDS) – Aspens Investment Fund, now the largest shareholder of VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS), yesterday announced to have acquired approximately 9.65% stake in VIVUS for $46.3 million and is considering to offer a buyout deal for $640 million. The market capitalization of VIVUS Inc. is around $511.30 million. Following the announcement, the stock gained momentum and traded with unusually higher volumes of 19.59 million shares against its 30 day average trading volume of 2.61 million shares. The stock gained nearly 6% during yesterday’s trade and closed at $4.95, recovering from its recent 52-week low of $4.56. Its 52 week high is of $15.62.
Aspen Investment’s Shareholding
Aspen announced that it will discuss with VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) about its board membership as well as business strategy. The additional investment, if required, will be financed through working capital of Aspens Investment Fund and pharmaceutical company’s cash plus debt from investment banks.
The recent acquisition by Aspen Investment Funds was of 9.97 million shares of VIVUS including 6.12 million shares underlying forward purchase contracts which will expire in May 2015 and 3.85 million shares underlying exercisable options in July 2014. Aspen said that it is attempting to revive the obesity drug maker, VIVUS which has struggled to effectively penetrate the market with its primary portfolio candidate, Qsymia.
VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS)’s lead candidate Qsymia was launched in September 2012 and was among the only two obesity drugs approved by the USFDA in more than a decade. However, the company failed to boost the sales of this anti-obesity drug given the prior safety concerns with such drugs, reimbursement problems as well as lack of a major partner for commercialization. The company paid heavy price for this failure as its stock price tumbled from September 2012 high of $25 to the recent price of below $5 per share.