Investor withdraws CPEX tender offer


Richard Rofe has dropped his offer to buy up all the shares of Exeter-based CPEX Pharmaceuticals, at least for now.Rofe, the managing director of Arcadia Capital Advisors and a sharp critic of CPEX, announced Monday that he will let his tender offer expire, saying that he is not surprised that shareholders have turned their back on $16 a share for as much as $10 more on the open market."In light of the rapid appreciation in the CPEX share price, we were not surprised that the CPEX board recommended shareholders reject our offer," said Rofe, who promised to return any shares tendered.Rofe, once CPEX's largest outside shareholder, originally made noises about buying the company in January for $14 a share. He said he was dissatisfied with the company’s relentless pursuit of developing Nasulin, nasal insulin spray.The company's stock price began to rise, and Rofe sold more than half his shares, retaining a 4.9 percent stake in the company.The company did abandon Nasulin, following the results of some poor test trials, and on April 22, Rofe, claiming vindication, made a formal tender offer at $16 a share, slightly below the share price at the time.CPEX urged shareholders to reject the offer, saying the company was hoping to get a better deal in the fall. All this caused the price to jump up again to as high as $26 a share.Rofe would not bow out without a parting jab at CPEX management, however."I am hopeful that the CPEX board will act on their recent promise 'to explore strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value.' Given management's history, however, I remain concerned that this process could drag out over an extended time and potentially fail to result in a satisfying outcome for shareholders," he said.CPEX shares closed Thursday at $22.05, up a penny. -- BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW
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