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Cell Therapeutics Still Has Heavy Debt Load

Cell Therapeutics offered $134.50 in cash and 458 shares of common stock for each $1,000 in convertible debt -- a sweetened exchange offer but one that asked bondholders to accept much more common stock than cash.

The 46% acceptance rate suggests bondholders preferred more cash, which Cell Therapeutics doesn't have at the moment. This likely means the company will be forced to sell a significant amount of stock into the market, if possible, in order to raise enough cash to satisfy their debt obligations starting next year.

And even if Cell Therapeutics' can pay off its debt, the company will be forced to find ways to raise even more money if it hopes to build a commercial operation necessary to sell its cancer drug pixantrone, if the drug is approved by regulators late in 2009 or early 2010. Cell Therapeutics is expected to file pixantrone with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by the end of the second quarter.

Cell Therapeutics already has 452 million shares outstanding as of the end of April. The company's shares closed Tuesday at $1.55.

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.
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