GERN acknowledged the public release by BTX of a letter to Geron's stockholders regarding stem cell assets.
Geron's Board of Directors has, since the announcement that Geron would be discontinuing its stem cell research and development programs, considered a number of alternatives with respect to such programs.Consistent with its fiduciary duties and responsibilities, and in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, Geron's Board of Directors will diligently review BioTime's proposal and act in a manner that the Board believes is in the best interests of Geron's stockholders. Stifel Nicolaus Weisel is acting as financial advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is acting as legal counsel to Geron in connection with the divestiture of Geron's stem cell assets.
The Bottom line: It is a beginning … the war of paper flying … with lawyers flapping their arms for air support.
Geron (NASDAQ:GERN) may have finally found a buyer for its suspended stem cell program. The company has been searching since 11/11 when Geron halted the projects to focus on the development of Imetelstat and GRN-1005, both cancer treatments. BTX) has offered to combine some of its own stem cell assets with those of Geron - plus stock in 2 BTX subsidiaries - in a new, publicly traded company, BioTime Acquisition Corp (NYSE:BAC). Through the transaction, GERN shareholders will be given a 21.4% stake in the new company (aggregate); subscription rights to purchase additional stock in BAC, potentially increasing aggregate ownership to 45%; $13 M (current value) in BTX warrants; and additional BAC warrants as part of the subscription rights. (PropThink) Through the transaction, GERN shareholders have the opportunity to continue investing in GERN's human embryonic stem cell treatments, which many are calling the future of biotech. Divesting of the stem cell program has been a high priority for GERN, and management expected it to generate capital for the company; the all-stock transaction offered by BioTime, however, will do little for Geron's balance sheet.
GERN was up to 1.52 <from $1.42>at the close while BTX closed at $3.97 <down from $3.99>.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.