NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sequenom today said that its board of directors has approved the adoption of a share purchase rights plan, under which shareholders of record at the close of business on March 20, will receive rights to purchase shares of a new series of preferred stock.
The plan is being put in place to "enable all stockholders of Sequenom to realize the full value of their investment and to provide for fair and equal treatment for all stockholders in the event that an unsolicited attempt is made to acquire Sequenom," the firm said in a statement.
It noted that the plan is not in response to any specific offer and is not intended to prevent a takeover of the firm. However, Sequenom said that it should deter any attempts by another party to acquire the firm on terms not approved by the board of directors or stockholders.
The rights will be distributed to shareholders as a non-taxable dividend and will expire on March 20, 2019, and will be exercisable only if a person or group acquires 15 percent or more of Sequenom's common stock or announces a tender offer for 15 percent or more of the stock. If a group or person acquires 15 percent or more of Sequenom's common stock, all rights holders except the buyer will be entitled to acquire Sequenom's shares at a discount.
Ridgeback Capital Investment currently owns a stake of more than 15 percent in Sequenom. The rights plan will only apply in relation to Ridgeback if that firm or its affiliated parties acquire a stake of 20 percent or more.