Third Point’s Loeb Seeks Second Head At Pharma

Aug 30 2007 | 11:45am ET

Apoplectic about PDL BioPharma’s proposed reorganization, New York activist hedge fund Third Point has reiterated its unhappiness with company management in no uncertain terms.

Following the firm’s termination of a trial for a promising new drug and the announced resignation of its CEO, Mark McDade—whose ouster Third Point founder Daniel Loeb has long sought—Loeb fired off a new demand, seeking the resignation of the Fremont, Calif.-based company’s chairman, Patrick Gage.

Calling him a “lame duck” and casting doubt on his reelection chances next year, Loeb ripped Gage for sending “a confusing and unwelcome message about PDL’s strategy,” and reiterating his call for the company to be sold, either whole or in pieces.

“Dr. Gage’s destructive, ‘go-it-alone’ research and development approach (contrary to the wishes of PDL’s shareholders)—combined with his history as chief apologist for Mark McDade, failed strategies and his own spotty record as a Board member at other public companies,” prompted the demand, Loeb wrote.

While offering his support for PDL’s decision to sell is specialty pharmaceutical business, Loeb could not resist another broadside against his old adversary. “We were, however, perplexed as to why [McDade] was present on [Tuesday’s] conference call, and why he has retained anything more than a consulting role at the Company,” Loeb wrote.

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