Monday, June 18, 2007

Chapman: "Nabi is not yet worthy of our disdain or disgust"

In a 13D filing Friday afternoon on Nabi Biopharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: NABI), Chapman Capital disclosed a 6.6% stake in the company and issued a press release announcing its support for the maximization of Nabi shareholder value via a three-step transaction: 1) FDA approval of Nabi’s BLA for Nabi-HB Intravenous; 2) the distribution of the proceeds from the sale of Nabi Biologics; and 3) partnering/licensing of Nabi’s vaccine pipeline led by smoking cessation drug, NicVAX (Nicotine Conjugate Vaccine).

Robert L. Chapman, Jr., Managing Member of Chapman Capital, commented, “Unlike many of our activist targets, Nabi is not yet worthy of our disdain or disgust. The Company has taken the necessary steps to prepare for its restructuring and recapitalization."
NOTE: Nabi has been a long time activist target of Dan Loeb's Third Point LLC
A Copy of Chapman's Letter to Nabi Interim CEO Dr. Leslie Hudson Ph.D.:
Dr. Hudson,
Chap-Cap Partners II and Chap-Cap Activist Partners (the “Chapman Funds”), advised by Chapman Capital L.L.C., own approximately four million common shares, or just over 6.6%, of Nabi Biopharmaceuticals (“NABI”, or the “Company”). Today’s Schedule 13D filing by Chapman Capital places Nabi in the historically distinct position of having a total of four, 5-12% activist ownership blocks1 each independently fomenting an identical strategic imperative for the Company. This mandate, conveyed to you by the owners to whom the Board of Directors (the “Board”) that hired you reports, has been defined as follows: 1) FDA approval of Nabi’s BLA for Nabi-HB® Intravenous; 2) the distribution of the proceeds from the sale of Nabi Biologics; and 3) partnering/licensing of Nabi’s vaccine pipeline led by smoking cessation drug, NicVAX® (Nicotine Conjugate Vaccine).2 Essentially, nearly 40% of Nabi’s ownership base has filed Schedule 13D’s with virtually identical activist platforms -- the conversion of the Company into a royalty trust following a special dividend financed by a divisional asset sale.
Unlike many of our activist targets,3 Nabi’s Board and executive hired help is not yet worthy of our disdain or disgust. The Company has taken the necessary steps to prepare for the restructuring and recapitalization described above. In March 2007, Nabi outlined its intent to bifurcate itself into two strategic business units4 to “provide business clarity to the investment community, improve operating and financial performance and facilitate successful completion of Nabi’s strategic alternatives process, including but not limited to [Nabi’s] work with Banc of America Securities.”5 Last month, Nabi announced successful results6 for its Phase IIb proof-of-concept study for NicVAX®.7 Under Nabi’s new corporate design, you repeatedly have committed to “further reduce its cost structure and cash burn in 2007”; accordingly, the Company’s implementation of that cost reduction just this week8 gives Chapman Capital confidence that you are a man of your word, with that word being “execution” (walk) and not the formerly insuperable one of “vision” (talk).
In conclusion, Chapman Capital anticipates Nabi’s long overdue announcement of FDA approval for Nabi-HB® Intravenous (before Cangene Corporation’s HepaGam B™ gains damaging traction in the liver transplantation market).9 This shall be preceded or followed by the sale of Nabi Biologics for a valuation that alone should approximate Chapman Capital’s $5/share cost basis in the Company’s shares. Lastly, like Cytos Biotechnology AG before it, Nabi shall license NicVAX® to a global pharmaceutical company such as GlaxoSmithKline plc or Pfizer Inc.,10 both of which may be interested in marketing NicVAX® in combination with their own "first-line" smoking cessation drug therapies.11 Should you fail to execute on these mandates, it is near certainty that Chapman Capital’s filings shall take on a distinctly less genial tone.

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