Alex Denner's firm takes over Amarin, ousts non-Sarissa board members
Activist investor Alex Denner has now solidified his control over Irish drugmaker Amarin.
In the wake of last week’s shareholder election that saw Denner’s VC Sarissa Capital Management install seven directors on Amarin’s board, the company announced Monday afternoon that the seven non-Sarissa board members are exiting from their positions “to avoid further proxy contests.”
Murray Stewart, a former CMO at GSK who was added to Amarin’s board just earlier this year and was a catalyst that led to the vote, is also leaving the board.
The departing directors said in a statement: “We are stepping down to allow Sarissa, as it has requested, to gain immediate control of the Company. We continue to believe in Amarin’s value potential, and are confident we leave the Company with a strong leadership and management team.”
That Feb. 28 shareholder vote also led to the ouster of ex-chair Per Wold-Olsen, effective immediately.
With the seven gone, it leaves eight people on the board of directors — seven individuals Sarissa nominated and CEO Karim Mikhail. Denner did not take a board position.
Sarissa Capital started its activist attack in January, calling for a shareholder vote after accusing the Irish biotech of a sham board refreshment process while seeking to remove the chairman and add seven directors. Sarissa also threatened legal action if the board tried to fill any vacancies or if it “interferes with Sarissa’s exercise of its shareholder rights.”
Sarissa, as Amarin’s largest investor, owns more than 6% of Amarin: over 25 million shares.