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Ciphergen Shareholders Call For No-Confidence Vote to Oust Top Management

NEW YORK, Feb. 22 (GenomeWeb News) - A group of Ciphergen shareholders is calling for the replacement of top officials at the company, GenomeWeb News has learned.


At least five Ciphergen shareholders are in the process of drafting a letter outlining their dissatisfaction with the company's progress and share value, according to a shareholder who spoke to GenomeWeb News on the condition of anonymity. These shareholders plan to send the letter to institutional and other investors, and to call for a no-confidence vote with the hope of bringing about a meeting of the board of directors to discuss the direction and management of the company.


Ciphergen's chief financial officer, Matthew Hogan, said the company had no comment on the pending no-confidence letter.


The shareholders are calling for the resignation of William Rich, the CEO of Ciphergen; Martin Verhoef, president of the biosystems division; and Gail Page, president of the diagnostics division.


"If you look at the share price, it's pretty dismal, and they don't look like they're recovering," said the shareholder. "I think the stock could be a lot stronger, and they've got to execute a market strategy to get there. The market strategy just has not worked."


The company's stock has been trading below $4.00 since early January. As of 2:00 EST today, Ciphergen shares were trading at $2.82.


Ciphergen reported last week a fall-off in fourth-quarter revenues. The company reported that it has around $35.4 million cash and equivalents, and $2.2 million in short-term investment as of Dec. 31, 2004.


The shareholder said that he hopes the no-confidence letter will trigger the company's board of directors to reevaluate its management and its strategy going forward.


"I hope the outcome is that there's a talent review, and a discussion about how the company can be brought to the next level," the shareholder said.

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