MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- VIVUS, Inc. (Nasdaq:VVUS) (the "Company") today mailed a letter to stockholders advising them to protect the value of their investment in VIVUS by voting the GOLD proxy card. The full text of the letter follows. FMC = RISK : Vote the GOLD Proxy Card June 27, 2013 Dear Stockholder: We are writing to caution you that, in our view, a vote for First Manhattan Co. ("FMC") and Sam Colin equals increased RISK:
- Risk to the value of your investment. We believe a complete turnover of VIVUS's Board and management would throw the Company into turmoil as we seek to accelerate the commercialization of Qsymia ® (phentermine and topiramate extended-release) capsules CIV into thousands of certified retail pharmacies, actively engaged with payers to improve coverage, and initiating our consumer advertising campaign to increase patient awareness.
- Risk by disrupting our ongoing Qsymia commercialization effort, which we believe will deliver results in the second half of 2013.
- Risk by jeopardizing the discussions we are currently having with large pharmaceutical companies to increase our primary care physician outreach for Qsymia.
- We have consistently stated that we would engage in commercialization discussions with major pharmaceutical companies after the REMS modification was achieved. Now, Sam Colin has demanded that we refrain from entering into a partnership agreement for Qsymia prior to our Annual Meeting. Is this in the best interest of stockholders?
- Sam Colin has asserted that the level of short seller interest in VIVUS is an endorsement of his slate. The most direct way to create a short squeeze and increase stockholder value is by executing on a sound commercialization plan. Your Board and management team has a plan to maximize stockholder value and is executing on that plan.
- FMC's latest presentation confirms our LONG-HELD belief that FMC has no plan. FMC is advocating ideas no different from what the VIVUS Board and management team are already doing. In addition, we strongly believe that FMC does not have the expertise to launch a new product in a new category. Is this in the best interest of stockholders?
- All of these false claims and disruptive actions come from an investor who, up to and through Qsymia's launch, consistently backed our strategic commercialization plan and applauded management, our accessibility, and our willingness to engage with stockholders. We believe that, given the accessibility that management has afforded to Sam Colin, stockholders should be asking him why, rather than make constructive suggestions to management, he chose instead to wage this costly and distracting proxy fight at this critical juncture. Is this in the best interest of stockholders?