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Lemelson Capital Says Ligand Pharmaceuticals' $225M Debt Issuance Solidifies Company's Insolvency, Substantially Raises Specter Of Bankruptcy

MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Aug. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Lemelson Capital Management, a private investment management firm, today released a research note and audio interview by the firm's Chief Investment Officer Emmanuel Lemelson, raising new and escalated concerns about the going concern risk and bankruptcy prospects of the troubled drug delivery company Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: LGND).  The new concerns, raised in Lemelson's August 13, 2014 interview with the financial media outlet Benzinga, follow Ligand's August 11, 2014 announcement that it would issue $225 million of convertible senior debt, a portion of which would be used to repurchase shares in private transactions from shareholders.

Audio of the August 13, 2014 interview can be heard here:

Lemelson Capital's August 14, 2014 research note on Ligand can be read here:

In today's research note, Lemelson Capital amended previous research reports on Ligand with even deeper concerns about the company's projected forward revenues based on yesterday's announcement by Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) that the Phase 3 clinical trial for Kyprolis® has failed to demonstrate improved overall survival in use with relapsed multiple mylenoma patients.  The failure of Kyprolis® in this clinical trial will almost certainly severely impair Ligand's already declining revenues.

"Ligand's announcements this week are ominous for many reasons," Lemelson said today.  "First, Ligand's debt issuance appears necessitated by the fact that large institutional shareholders are expressing their intention to get out of the stock, which is understandable given the company's rapidly deteriorating financial condition," he said.  "Second, the company has nominal tangible equity of just $21,000 against an astounding market capitalization of about $1.1 billion and is now assuming vast and costly debt at a 15 percent upfront premium, which they appear to wrongly represent as being offered at  a very low 0.75% coupon," he added. "And finally," Lemelson said, "Ligand has traded at an extraordinarily overvalued multiple based largely on speculation that Kyprolis® would show promise as a second-line therapy in multiple mylenoma treatment, which now appears highly unlikely to materialize."  

In the interview with Benzinga and today's accompanying research note, Lemelson addresses Ligand's insolvency, the details of its remarkably costly debt offering, and the mounting prospect for the company's bankruptcy.

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