BOSTON, Nov. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Block & Leviton LLP ( www.blockesq.com), a Boston-based law firm representing investors nationwide, has commenced an investigation into possible breaches of fiduciary duty by the Board of Directors of ViroPharma Inc. ("ViroPharma" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: VPHM) concerning the proposed acquisition of the Company by U.K.-based company, Shire PLC ("Shire"), in a transaction valued at approximately $4.2 billion. Under the terms of the transaction, Shire will acquire each ViroPharma share for $50.00, representing a paltry premium of 27% to ViroPharma's closing share price on Friday, November 8, 2013. The transaction was announced less than two weeks after ViroPharma announced highly positive third quarter 2013 financial results, which management described as an "extremely strong period of growth and positive momentum across our entire organization." At that time, the Company also raised its North American net sales guidance to between $395 and $405 million. ViroPharma's share price has been spiking over the last year - trading between $22.12 per share on December 31, 2012 and hitting a high of $41.14 on November 7, 2013. Indeed, in September 2013, the Company's share price rose nearly 30%. The so-called premium appears to significantly undervalue the Company, especially considering that several companies, including Sanofi, were apparently interested in ViroPharma, which makes Cinryze for the treatment of immune disorder hereditary angioedema. Treatments for such rare disorders can command huge prices, running into hundreds of thousands of dollars a year per patient. Block & Leviton's investigation seeks to determine, among other things, whether ViroPharma's Directors breached their fiduciary duties by failing to maximize shareholder value in the proposed acquisition by Shire and the fairness by which the ViroPharma's Directors considered and approved the transaction.
Irish pharmaceuticals company Shire said on Friday it had arranged to hand its Dermagraft skin substitute to Organogenesis and take a $650 million loss on the disposal, which unwinds a major part of an acquisition it made less than three years ago.