SYDNEY — A Danish pension fund has sold its 8 percent shareholding in Australian biotechnology company Peptech Ltd. for A$2.4 million to a number of Australian shareholders.

In addition, the company has decided to change its management team and effectively bring its headquarters back to Australia after a lengthy stay in Europe.

The new executive chairman of Peptech, Michael Cohen, said the sale of 11.1 million shares at A$0.215 each and the management change were in no way related.

The pension fund, known as the LD Group, was forced to sell its shares in Peptech and other companies because it was over-weighted in equities following a rise in European equity markets, he observed.

A stock exchange announcement issued by Peptech stated Roger Aston, CEO of Peptech, and Eric Rothbarth, chief financial officer, resigned as directors "in order to pursue other opportunities.

Both men were based in Europe and, as previously reported, Aston was appointed following the company's decision in late 1995 to write off the development costs of an anti-HIV drug called Peptide-T. (See BioWorld International, Jan 10, 1996, p. 1.)

The company has operations in the U.K., Denmark and Australia. — Mark Lawson