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Cambrex Parts With CEO

The company discards its specialty therapeutics acquisition strategy.
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Cambrex (CBM) - Get Cambrex Corporation Report discarded its acquisition plan, bid adieu to its CEO and put itself on the block.

The East Rutherford, N.J., company said CEO John Leone, who joined in August 2004 to lead a push into specialty therapeutics, will depart next week by mutual agreement. Chairman James Mack will become acting chief executive.

Cambrex said it had sought to buy its way into specialty therapeutics, but gave up the effort "due to the increasing cost to acquire companies in this sector coupled with the risk of achieving an appropriate return on investment." Now the company will focus on cell biology, molecular biology, rapid microbial testing and cell therapy manufacturing.

The company said it also intends to hire an investment banker to examine strategic alternatives, including the potential sale of certain assets. Any proceeds from an asset sale may be used to support further growth in bioproducts, pay down debt, repurchase Cambrex stock or make complementary strategic acquisitions in all segments. The company said it will provide future updates on its progress on this initiative as appropriate.

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Cambrex rose 20 cents Wednesday to $18.98 before being halted ahead of its news.