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Tripos Brass May Buy Discovery Research If Provid, Other Deals Fall Through

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Certain members of Tripos’ management team may consider buying the firm’s Discovery Research business if bids by Provid Pharmaceuticals or other parties fall through, the company said last week.
Tripos made its remarks as the company said that fourth-quarter revenues declined 8 percent as R&D spending fell 35 percent and loss narrowed 46 percent.
Total receipts for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2006, fell to $6.7 million from $7.2 million year over year.
Most of Tripos’ revenue came from licenses to its Discovery Informatics segment, which had sales of $5.6 million, down 8 percent from $6.1 million for the year-ago period. Discovery informatics services sales were flat at $1 million.
R&D spending decreased to $1.5 million from $2.3 million year over year.
The company said losses fell to $1.8 million from $3.4 million in the year-ago period.
Some of the losses were caused by restructuring charges associated with jobs cuts and idled facilities caused by the planned sale of its Discovery Informatics unit.  
The company plans to sell the informatics business to a private equity firm for $26.5 million. In last week’s quarterly statement, Tripos strongly advised its shareholders to approve the proposed sale.
The company also took an impairment charge of $15 million in the quarter connected to the proposed sale of its Discovery Research business. Tripos is trying to unload its Discovery Research business to Provid Pharmaceuticals, but so far Provid has not found the funds needed to swing the deal, and the company said it looks unlikely to happen.
Tripos said may be able to restructure a deal that would make it more favorable for Provid, but also said it is in discussions with another party, and suggested that some of Tripos’ management may consider purchasing the segment if the money is available.
Tripos said it had around $2.2 million in cash and equivalents as of Dec. 31.

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