In today’s Bulldog wrapup of technology and life science news: Nokia shareholders OK acquisition of Alcatel; Durham startup Spoonflower expands its board; Yahoo shares surge on report of possible sale; and a second person has died in a drug trial potential treatment for a rare genetic disorder linked to obesity.
- Nokia shareholders give green light to Alcatel acquisition
Nokia shareholders have overwhelmingly approved the acquisition of ailing French telecom Alcatel-Lucent, removing one of the last hurdles to the 15.6 billion euro deal that will make the Finnish company a market leader in networks.
The authorization for the Nokia board to finalize the takeover came at an extraordinary general meeting Tuesday following last month’s launch of a public exchange offer for all outstanding Alcatel shares. In October, Nokia said it would pay 4 billion euros toshareholders as the company raised its outlook for the year.
CEO Rajeev Suri said he was delighted by shareholders recognizing the “long-term value creation opportunity” of the deal, expected to close during the first quarter of 2016.
- Spoonflower expands its board
Spoonflower, a Durham-based digital textile service, has added Maria Thomas and Scot Wingo to its board of directors.
Thomas served as Etsy CEO from 2008-2010. Wingo co-founded ecommerce services provider ChannelAdvisor.
Gart Davis, co-founder of Spoonflower pointed out: “Although part of what makes Spoonflower distinct is how we apply technology to textile manufacturing, we are fundamentally an ecommerce business and a consumer business. Scot and Maria bring diverse experiences not just as executives, but as innovators who have stood on the frontlines of interesting, entrepreneurial companies in the direct-to-consumer e-commerce space.”
- Yahoo up on report of possible sale of Internet business
Shares of Yahoo are up sharply Wednesday on a report that the company will discuss the sale of its Internet business.
The Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday that the board of Yahoo Inc. is meeting this week to talk about what shape the company will take going forward. The article, citing anonymous sources, says private equity firms are among those looking at Yahoo’swebsites.
Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, California, declined to comment Wednesday.
Last month, activist investor Starboard Value urged Yahoo to scrap a planned spinoff of its lucrative stake in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba and sell its ownInternet business — which it is known for — instead. Starboard’s plan would leave the company with its Alibaba investment and Yahoo Japan.
Yahoo runs several web properties including Yahoo Finance, blogging platform Tumblr and fashion site Polyvore.
Shares of Yahoo rose $1.93, or 5.7 percent, to $35.64 in morning trading Wednesday.
- Second patient dies in drug trial
Zafgen Inc. on Wednesday reported a second patient death in an ongoing study of its potential treatment for a rare genetic disorder linked to obesity.
The Boston-based company’s shares plunged 60 percent in midday trading Wednesday.
The biotechnology company said the patient died from a blockage in an artery in the lung, or blood clots, in the late-stage study of beloranib. It reported a previous death in October in the same study, but the cause is unknown.
The Food and Drug Administration placed a partial hold on the study following the first reported death.
Beloranib is the company’s lead drug candidate and is aimed at treating the rare genetic disorder called Prader Willi syndrome. The condition has multiple symptoms and is linked to obesity.
The company said it is in discussions with the FDA to determine next steps for the program. Results of from another portion of the study are expected during the first quarter.
Zafgen shares dropped $9.59, or 60.1 percent, to $6.43 in midday trading Wednesday. Its shares are down almost 80 percent this the year