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Digital Subscriptions > The Hedge Fund Journal > Issue 123 - June 2017 > Immunomedics Proxy Contest

Immunomedics Proxy Contest

Schulte Roth & Zabel achieves unprecedented litigation victories

COMMENTARY

A team of Schulte Roth & Zabel (SRZ) lawyers, led by partners Michael E. Swartz and Eleazer Klein, achieved a series of significant victories on behalf of venBio Select Advisor LLC (venBio), a long/short equity healthcare fund, in its proxy campaign at Immunomedics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. An investment fund that had never before been an activist, venBio turned to SRZ for counsel directly as a result of the firm’s dominance in shareholder activism and because SRZ is highly regarded for its leading litigation practice.

The litigation arose from venBio’s proxy contest to obtain majority control of the Immunomedics board. On Friday, February 10, 2017, less than a week before Immunomedics’ already delayed annual meeting of stockholders was scheduled to take place, Immunomedics announced that it had entered into a transformative transaction with Seattle Genetics, Inc.to license IMMU-132, a promising triple negative breast cancer drug and Immunomedics’ only viable product.

SRZ alleged that the transaction was a blatant act of entrenchment and virtually amounted to a sale of the Company. When Immunomedics announced the deal, it also adjourned the annual general meeting (AGM) for an additional two weeks so that it could try to swing the shareholder vote in favour of the incumbents. In a hard-fought litigation victory, SRZ prevented the record date and annual meeting dates from being moved (yet again) and essentially unwound the Seattle Genetics transaction. On May 4, 2017, following several court rulings in venBio’s favour, Seattle Genetics and Immunomedics formally agreed to terminate the licensing deal.

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