GW is pleased to announce that it is raising approximately £20 million before expenses through a placing for cash of 9,904,395 new GW ordinary shares at 200 pence per share.
The new shares, which represent approximately 9.87 per cent. of the Company’s issued share capital prior to the placing, have been placed with a small number of existing and new institutional investors by the Company’s broker, Collins Stewart. The new shares represent the maximum number of shares available for issue under the authorities approved by shareholders at the Company’s Annual General Meeting on 26 February 2003. The placing price represents a discount of approximately 8.5 per cent. to the closing middle market price on 26 June 2003.
The gross proceeds of the placing of £19.8 million (£19.0 million net of expenses) will provide further balance sheet strength to bring forward Phase III clinical trials of additional cannabinoid products for new therapeutic markets and to accelerate the development of GW’s innovative Advanced Dispensing System for secure drug delivery in the treatment of drug addiction. These programmes further enhance prospects for future product approvals, additional licensing agreements and income streams. The balance of the proceeds will be used for working capital purposes. GW has placed these new shares to build on its achievements to date and to consolidate the Company’s lead position in cannabinoid and botanical medicines.
The fundraising is in addition to the £5 million already received under the recently completed agreement with Bayer AG. Further milestones of £20m are payable under this agreement. Such funds are to be applied to the launch of Sativex®, GW’s lead product, in the UK, to secure international regulatory approvals for the product and to build the Sativex brand.
The placing was significantly oversubscribed and in order to respond to demand from institutions, the Board of GW has released 10 per cent. of shares held by directors. The Directors have made available a total of 4,235,000 shares to be placed with institutions at 200 pence per share.
Dr Geoffrey Guy, Executive Chairman of GW, said: “Since GW was listed on AiM two years ago, we have made significant progress in all aspects of the business, with development programmes running to schedule and on budget. Sativex, our lead product for multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain, is now awaiting regulatory approval in the UK where it will be marketed by our partner, Bayer AG. Throughout this period, balance sheet strength has played an important part in the Company’s success – enabling us to fund a wide-ranging clinical programme and underpinning our negotiations with commercial partners.
“Our research findings and the clinical data we have gathered to date have confirmed our early belief in the enormous potential of cannabis-based medicines and, having established a clear first-mover advantage in this field, we believe GW is poised to fully exploit this potential.
“The placing proceeds will enable us to accelerate the development of additional income streams arising from our core skills in phyto-medicines and secure dispensing technology. The placing also widens GW’s institutional shareholder base, providing a shareholder structure more appropriate for the next phase of the Company’s growth. We have considerable ambitions for the Company’s development and this fundraising will enable GW to further its plans to move into the top tier of the UK biopharmaceuticals sector.“
Application will be made today for the new shares to be admitted to the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange (“Admission”). The placing is conditional on Admission, which is expected to become effective on 4 July 2003. When issued, the new shares will rank pari passu in all respects with the Company’s existing ordinary shares. Following the placing, GW will have a total of 110,246,179 ordinary shares in issue.
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GW Pharmaceuticals plc
(27/06/03) 020 7067 0700
Justin Gover, Managing Director
(Thereafter) +44 1980 557000
Weber Shandwick Square Mile
+44 20 7067 0700
The offer for securities in the Company will not be made, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States, Canada, Australia, the Republic of Ireland or Japan. Accordingly, copies of this press release are not being and must not be mailed or otherwise distributed or sent in or into or from the United States, Canada, Australia, the Republic of Ireland or Japan and persons receiving this press release (including custodians, nominees and trustees) must not distribute or send it into or from the United States, Canada, Australia, the Republic of Ireland or Japan.
Collins Stewart Limited which is regulated and authorised by the Financial Services Authority is acting exclusively for the Company in connection with the placing and will not be responsible to any other person or persons for providing the protections afforded to customers of Collins Stewart or for giving advice in relation to the placing or the contents of this announcement. In acting for the Company Collins Stewart has relied on information provided to it by both the Company and the Directors.
This announcement does not constitute an offer or invitation to purchase or subscribe for securities in any jurisdiction.