Under-pressure Stada is seeing some change at the top–but not as a result of activists’ efforts.
Sunday, the German drugmaker announced that longtime skipper Hartmut Retzlaff would vacate the CEO’s chair on account of a “serious, long-term illness.” Exec board members Helmut Kraft and Matthias Wiedenfels will take up his duties, with Wiedenfels assuming the chief exec title.
Retzlaff, who served as CEO for 23 years, shaped the company, Stada Chairman Martin Abend said in a statement, noting that the helmsman’s departure “comes as a surprise and saddens us deeply.” But he’s confident Wiedenfels will stand for “continuity as well as the ability to give the company the continuously necessary new impulses,” he said.
What remains to be seen is whether those “new impulses” are enough to placate rebel investor Active Ownership Capital, which has been clamoring to swap out the company’s board members with its own candidates. After the two sides nearly reached a compromise last month–Active Ownership would replace three directors instead of the 5 it initially wanted–Stada said instead that it would be selecting new picks on its own.
What Active Ownership wants may not end up mattering, though, if rumors about a potential Stada sale are true. Late last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company had been holding informal takeover talks with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, discussing a buyout that could value Stada at about €3.7 billion ($4.1 billion).
By Carly Helfand
Source: Fierce Pharma
As inflation, high interest rates and a tight investment environment continue to create headaches, 72% of CFOs said economic volatility poses the same or greater risk to their business this year compared to 2023 in a recent survey from BDO — and there are more changes afoot.
McMullen, who’s also currently president of Agilent, is set to abdicate both roles on May 1, according to an announcement the company put out Wednesday afternoon. From there, McMullen will spend a few months serving as an advisor to Agilent and to his successor until his retirement becomes final on Oct. 31.
AstraZeneca has concluded its acquisition of China-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Gracell Biotechnologies for $1.2bn. The acquisition, initially agreed in December 2023, positions Gracell as a wholly owned AstraZeneca subsidiary with operations continuing in the US and China.