Biotech Comp Issue Flares Anew

Santini, Laura
June 2003
Investment Dealers' Digest;6/16/2003, Vol. 69 Issue 24, p12
Trade Publication
On June 9, 2003 Caliper Technologies Corp. announced a plan to acquire for $71 million privately held Zymark Corp., a unit of Berwind Co. LLC that provides laboratory automation to biotech researchers. But some shareholders of Caliper, a Mountain View, California-based developer of microchips used for conducting medical experiments, have been distracted by another item coinciding with the deal's timing. So instead of having to wait for Caliper's stock to reach much higher strike prices set in flush times, the employees' options can be exercised once Caliper shares hit $3.78. The key question for shareholders is whether the acquisition terms will include immediate vesting of the trio's options grants. Caliper belongs to the group of biotech companies that is rich in cash, despite struggling stock prices. According to its first-quarter financial filing, Caliper has $144 million in cash on its books.


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