After a bitter fight, activist boots Progenics directors—and eyes a CEO swap next

Three of Progenics' directors could be out the door after activist investor Velan's picks were reportedly given the vote of approval from shareholders. (iStock)

Progenics' board of directors has fought bitterly against activist investor Velan Capital, going so far as to sell out rather than lose the battle. Now, Velan reportedly has the shareholder votes to complete its revamp of the drugmaker's board––but the fight's not over yet. 

A majority of Progenics' shareholders gave their written consent to push CEO Mark Baker and directors David Scheinberg and Nicole Williams off the board in favor of five of Velan's hand-picked directors, the private equity firm said Friday.

Velan's nominees include Gérard Ber, David Mims, Ann MacDougall, Heinz Mäusli and Eric Ende. Two Progenics directors, Dr. Karen Ferrante and Bradley Campbell, would stay on under the new leadership, Velan said. But the activist aims to replace Baker as CEO as well as kick him off the board.

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Progenics said in a statement the written consent votes had been submitted to an independent inspector and both companies would be allowed to "challenge the validity" of the votes before a final decision is reached. 

"The Company does not anticipate commenting further on the consents until the inspector has completed its tabulation and both parties have had the opportunity to review and challenge consents and revocations," Progenics said. 

Velan managing partner Bala Venkataraman said in a statement the vote would provide "fresh perspectives" on Progenics' intended merger with Lantheus Medical Imaging and its strategic plan. 

RELATED: Proxy adviser ISS backs ouster of Progenics CEO in activist battle

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