Trading in Mithra shares suspended as company struggles to raise cash

Trading in Mithra shares was suspended on the Brussels Stock Exchange on Monday, the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority announced. The company requested the suspension as it struggles to raise cash to repay creditors.

The Belgian pharmaceutical company, which specialises in women's health products, began selling off parts of its business last month in a bid to raise cash. 

The Liège-based company has received bids for Estetra and other assets, but the proceeds are insufficient to repay all creditors in full, it said in a press release on Monday.

'Insufficient to ensure full repayment'

Mithra requested the suspension of trading in its shares on the Brussels Stock Exchange and postponed the publication of its 2023 annual report, which was scheduled for 30 April. 

The offers it has received are "insufficient to ensure full repayment of all creditors" and therefore "do not allow to create value for Mithra's shareholders at the present time", the company said.

Mithra requested the suspension for as long as negotiations with potential buyers are ongoing. The company has been granted judicial protection for two subsidiaries by the Liège commercial court until 19 June.

Judicial protection

For Mithra CDMO, a research and production facility in Flémalle, the court approved a judicial transfer procedure providing creditor protection and a court-appointed trustee to find a buyer for the company or parts of it.

For Novalon, its complex therapeutics subsidiary, Mithra received approval for a judicial restructuring process to reach an amicable agreement with creditors and restructure Novalon's debt.

Mithra was founded a quarter of a century ago by former CEO François Fornieri and physician Jean-Michel Foidart. Early last month, Mithra launched a divestment process in which it wants to sell parts or all of its business.

At the beginning of March, the company announced that its CEO had resigned immediately. In mid-March, Mithra said that at least a quarter of its 230-strong workforce would be put on economic unemployment.

Two weeks ago, it was announced that former CEO David Horn Solomon was suing the company for wrongful dismissal.

Loss of 173.5 million euros

Mithra made a loss of 173.5 million euros last year. A year earlier, the net loss was almost 60 million euros. The new loss was partly due to 74.1 million euros in asset write-downs. 

Turnover fell from 67 to 40.2 million euros. Mithra's shares, which were still quoted above 35 euros in 2018, are now penny stocks.

As of 19 February, the main shareholders listed on the company's website were François Fornieri, the US investment firm Armistice Capital and the Walloon government holding company Noshaq.


Mithra CDMO in Flémalle, Belgium © BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND

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