Israeli biotech company Vascular Biogenics made its debut on the Nasdaq on Aug. 1 — and then on Aug. 8 said it wasn’t public anymore.
Vascular Biogenics, which offered 5.4 million shares in its initial offering, valuing the company at about $222 million, is engaged in the discovery, development, and commercialization of cancer and immune-inflammatory disease treatments, according to its latest prospectus filed with the SEC.
On Saturday morning the company announced that Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo, which underwrote Vascular’s IPO, terminated the offering, “due to an unexpected situation in which a substantial existing U.S. shareholder did not fund payment for shares it previously agreed to purchase in the offering.”
The company added that the “termination is not related to the Company, its business or its prospects.”
According to Vascular’s latest filing with the SEC, the company has incurred losses in each year since its inception in 2000 and accumulated a total deficit of $109.8 million as of Dec. 31, 2013.
When a company files for an IPO there is no guarantee that the company will go public, with a number of factors including a lack of investor demand potentially derailing a company’s plans.
In 2012, electronic stock exchange BATS Global went public but canceled its offering the same day after a series of computer glitches prevented the stock from trading, according to Bloomberg’s report of the debacle. But a company going public, trading for more than a week, and then delisting its shares and refunding investors is an unprecedented move.
In The Wall Street Journal’s report on Vascular’s failed IPO, it cited comments from Renaissance Capital analyst Matt Kennedy, who said: “We’ve never seen anything like this happen before. With the investor not transferring payment — I don’t think we’ve seen that.”
The Journal said that on Monday market officials “began to unwind the transactions and refund investors.”
On Friday, Nasdaq announced that the stock was halted with a “news pending” designation, later changing this to “additional information requested” on Saturday morning.
Since the offering priced at $12 per share, shares of Vascular hadn’t made it back to those levels in its six days of trading, eventually getting halted at $11.15 per share.
Now, investors will get their money back.
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