Receptos Insider Sale Defies Logic if Takeout Is Imminent

Updated from 11:05 am EDT with Receptos comment.

SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) -- The stock price of Receptos (RCPT) has been surging for more than a week on rumors and speculation of an imminent takeout. But if Receptos is in active sale negotiations, it makes no sense for Lilly Ventures, the venture capital arm of the pharmaceutical giant with a seat on Receptos' board, to sell a good chunk of the company's stock.

But that's exactly what Lilly Ventures just did. In an SEC filing posted Tuesday night, Lilly Ventures managing partner Ed Torres reported the sale in the past week of 25% of the fund's holdings in Receptos.

Torres is a director on Receptos' board, which means he would have direct knowledge of any takeover offer or sale negotiations under way. The insider sale of Receptos stock by Torres/Lilly Ventures was voluntary, meaning no 10b5-1 trading plan was involved, according to the SEC filing.

Lilly Ventures sold 220,000 shares of Receptos in three tranches on June 12, 15, and 16. The sale prices ranged from $175 to $182 per share, according to the SEC filing.

That means Lilly Ventures profited from the recent Receptos takeover speculation. On June 9, an investor blog published an unsourced story claiming that Receptos had rebuffed a takeover offer from AstraZeneca (AZN). Teva (TEVA) and Gilead Sciences (GILD) were also reportedly interested in buying Receptos, the blog post said.

If you liked this article you might like

Allergan and Celgene Are in Peak Health

3 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now

3 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now

Jim Cramer -- Avoid Caterpillar; Own PayPal, Under Armour

The Nominees for Best Biopharma CEO of 2015 Are...

A Biotech Believer; Does Manufacturing Still Matter?: Jim Cramer's Best Blogs