LianBio announces wind down and special dividend

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LianBio announces wind down and special dividend
Credit: © Reuters.

SHANGHAI, China and PRINCETON, N.J. - LianBio (NASDAQ:LIAN), a biotechnology firm focused on delivering innovative medications to patients in Asia, declared today that it will commence the shutdown of its operations. This decision follows a strategic review by the Board of Directors, culminating in plans to sell its pipeline assets, delist from the Nasdaq Global Market, deregister under the Securities Exchange Act, and reduce its workforce.

The company anticipates that the majority of the wind-down activities, including the conclusion of active clinical trials, will be completed by the end of 2024. In conjunction with these plans, LianBio's Board has approved a special cash dividend of $4.80 per ordinary share, totaling approximately $528M, payable to shareholders on record as of February 27, 2024, with the payment expected around March 11, 2024, for ordinary shares and March 14, 2024, for ADS holders.

LianBio will begin to reduce its workforce by over 50 employees in the first quarter of 2024, which represents about 50% of the current employee base. Further reductions will follow throughout the year as operations wind down. The company aims to complete the wind-down process by the end of 2024, with full dissolution projected for the first half of 2027.

The Board has also provided notice to Nasdaq of its intention to voluntarily delist the company's ADSs and deregister under the Exchange Act, with the expected last trading day on Nasdaq to be around March 18, 2024. Following this, the company plans to have its ADSs quoted on a market operated by OTC Markets Group Inc., although there is no assurance that trading will continue in any form.

The Board believes that the benefits of being a private company, including reduced legal and audit expenses, outweigh the advantages of remaining public. The special cash dividend is part of the company's efforts to return value to shareholders during the wind-down.

This move comes after a shift away from the commercialization of mavacamten and the licensing of rights to NBTXR3 to Janssen. The Board concluded that winding down operations would maximize shareholder value in the current market conditions.

The information provided is based on a press release statement from LianBio.

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