BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - Transgene SA hopes to raise nearly EUR80 million (US$71.53 million) in a rights offering of new shares. It is offering a total of 5.31 million new shares at a fixed price of EUR19 per share, which would increase its capital by a maximum of EUR79.72 million.

The company is offering the new shares to existing holders of ordinary shares and American Depository Shares in a ratio of 11 share rights to purchase 10 new shares, or 33 ADS rights to purchase 30 new ADSs (one share equals three ADSs). The subscription period for the exercise of share rights will extend from April 27 to May 15, and for ADS rights from April 27 to May 11.

The offer price was fixed on April 19, representing a slight discount from the price of EUR15.56, at which Transgene shares closed on the Nouveau Marchi in Paris on April 18.

Transgene's controlling shareholder, the French pharmaceutical group bioMérieux Pierre Fabre, has undertaken to exercise all the rights relating to its 52.8 percent holding. It is paying an aggregate subscription price of EUR42.06 million for those new shares and is also prepared to subscribe for a maximum of 1.18 million additional shares, depending on availability, at an additional aggregate subscription price of up to EUR17.72 million.

The Strasbourg-based gene therapy company recently announced a shift in corporate strategy towards a more product-based one focused on the development of drug candidates, particularly in the area of immunotherapies for cancer. (See BioWorld International, April 4, 2001).

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