Nabi to Examine Options

The company hires an adviser to help it with its strategy.
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Nabi Biopharmaceuticals

(NABI)

said Wednesday it hired an investment banking firm to help it explore a full range of strategic options, including the possible sale of the company.

The Boca Raton, Fla., drugmaker has been criticized repeatedly by the Third Point hedge fund, which owns 9.5% of the stock. Third Point's chief, Daniel S. Loeb, has complained about corporate performance and Nabi's management for months.

Earlier this week, Loeb said he plans to initiate action to remove Thomas H. McClain, Nabi's chairman and CEO, from the Nabi board.

After the markets had closed, Nabi said it hired Banc of America Securities to look into licensing deals, joint ventures, recapitalization, a merger or a sale. The company has been forced to change its strategy since November, when a late-stage clinical trial failed to meet its goal for a vaccine against dangerous bacteria. The company is conducting further research on the vaccine.

"The board continues to believe that the company's current strategy will build shareholder value," Nabi said in a prepared statement. "However, the board is also sensitive to the interests of shareholders."

Nabi added that there can be no assurance that its hiring of the investment banking firm will lead to any deals, and it said it wouldn't comment on ongoing developments unless the board makes a specific deal.

In regular trading, Nabi's stock lost 5 cents to close at $5.60. After hours, the shares gained 40 cents, or 7.1%.