Altus inks option to buy back Vertex preferred holding Print E-mail
By Wire Reports   
Monday, 17 August 2009 14:01

Aug 17 - Altus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ALTU) said it signed an option agreement with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:VRTX), giving the company or its successor the right to buy Vertex's holding in Altus' preferred stock for $1.5 million before Dec. 20, 2009.

Altus shares were trading up 5 percent at 34 cents Monday afternoon on Nasdaq.

In 1999, Vertex bought 450,000 redeemable preferred shares of Altus for $3.1 million. Accrued dividends on the shares were about $2.3 million as of June 30, Altus said in a regulatory filing.

Unless Altus exercises the option, the preferred stock is redeemable, on or after Dec. 31, 2010 at the option of Vertex or at Altus' option at any time, for $10.00 per share plus accrued and unpaid dividends.

Vertex option of redemption also holds if Altus were to be liquidated.

Altus, which had taken up several cost-control measures early in the year, said earlier this month that it will have to raise cash by the end of September to continue operations.

(Reporting by Vidya L Nathan in Bangalore; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott of Reuters)

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