Who Got Rich This Week: A $1 Billion Buyout and a Stock That's Up 550%

Jan 11 2014, 11:31am CST | by

Who Got Rich This Week: A $1 Billion Buyout and a Stock That's Up 550%

Each week at Forbes we scan our database of corporate insiders to see who got richer from the action in the stock market.

The new year is off to a cold start. And not just the weather; the S&P 500 has yet to return to its Dec. 31 high of 1,848 points and is down 0.33% through the first full week of the year. You can only blame so much on the Polar Vortex. Despite the chilly markets, two companies have made big moves already this year, minting millions for their owners in the process:

Biopharma bonanza

Investors have been in a tizzy over previously obscure drug-maker Intercept Pharmaceuticals. The company was up more than 300% in the past week — most of it coming in a monstrous stock pop Thursday. Account for Friday’s session, in which Intercept was up another 62% and trading at $445 per share, and the company is up 550% in 2014 with a marketcap of $8.6 billion.

What’s generating all the intrigue over this New York City-based developer of chronic liver disease treatments? As Forbes’ Brian Solomon reports, the company’s recent clinical trials of the drug obeticholic acid were stopped early after meeting its goals and proving its efficacy in treating nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. As analysts have noted, approximately 22 million Americans suffer from NASH, and there is as yet no approved drug. With the worldwide rights to obeticholic acid aside from Japan and China — where they have other licensing deals — Intercept Pharmaceuticals is poised to make billions.

And that means a fortune for Intercept’s owners, too. The largest individual shareholder of Intercept is co-founder and CEO Dr. Mark Pruzanski, who holds 416,635 common shares that are now worth $185 million — up about $160 million since the stock surge began. Prior to founding Intercept in 2002, Pruzanski co-founded venture capital firm Apple Tree Partners in 1999, which focused on early-stage life sciences companies.

But the biggest Intercept beneficiary overall is Italian biopharma investment company Genextra, which owns a 30% stake in the company now worth about $2.6 billion — a $2.2 billion increase in the past week. Genextra, which is closely held, hasn’t disclosed its ownership structure, but it’s likely that Francesco Micheli, co-founder and chairman of Genextra and a former billionaire, and Dr. Lorenzo Tallarigo, Genextra’s CEO, have made a fortune off Intercept Pharmaceutical’s remarkable stock movement.

Catching Fire

When software security company FireEye went public in September, a very warm welcome from investors helped it close 80% above its IPO price and immediately made a fortune north of $400 million for founder Ashar Aziz, according to Forbes’ Tomio Geron. The company’s stock — and Aziz’s net worth — surged again this week after the company’s $1 billion acquisition of Mandiant. Also a security firm, Mandiant specializes in responses to network attacks and went viral last year after helping the New York Times reveal that Shanghai hackers affiliated with the China People’s Liberation Army committed cyber-attacks on U.S. corporations and government agencies.

FireEye, based out of Milipitas, Calif., offers more preemptive solutions and protection against malware and Internet attacks. With Alexandria, Va.-based Mandiant in the fold, the company now has both preventive and reactive services to sell its customers, an enticing convergence to investors. The company’s stock rose 41% the past week, now boasting a marketcap of $6.9 billion with shares changing hands at $57.

Aziz’s fortunes have likewise soared. The founder and chief technology and strategy officer, who worked for Sun Microsystems for more than a decade and had startup company Terraspring bought out by Sun in 2002, saw his 10.91 million common shares increase by $183 million to $632 million. Throw in vested options, and Aziz’ net worth is near $700 million.

Click here to see who got rich last week.

Thanks to Scott DeCarlo for building and maintaining our insider database screen.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

HastonWilliams Launches Contract Staffing Division
HastonWilliams has launched a new division offering contract staffing that will compliment and support their executive, accounting/finance and hr divisions.
 
 
Western Independent Bankers Endorses Touchpoint Metrics and Touchpoint Mapping On-Demand, a Cloud-Based Customer Experience Management Software
Touchpoint Metrics and Western Independent Bankers (WIB) announce Touchpoint Metrics endorsement as WIB’s exclusive customer experience management software partner to help member banks measure and improve customer satisfaction, loyalty and experience.
 
 
EmpowHer Institute to Honor Four Amazing and Unstoppable Women at the Annual Girls to Greatness Luncheon Saturday, April 26, 2014 – the Beverly Hills Hotel
Honorees include: Musette Buckley – Senior V.P., Warner Bros. Pictures; The Honorable LaDoris (Dot) Harris, Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the United States Department of Energy; Renata Simril, Senior V.P. of External Affairs at The Los Angeles Dodgers; Denita Willoughby, Regional V.P. of External Affairs at Southern California Gas Company.
 
 
Microsoft CRM Customer Web Portal Upgrade Released
The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customer Web Portal self-service solution has been upgraded and the packaged product solution is now available for immediate implementation to existing websites and CRM implantations by MTC.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Microsoft CRM Customer Web Portal Upgrade Released
Los Angeles, CA, April 23, 2014 --(PR.com)-- The CRM integrated customer self-service enterprise web portal by Management Technology Consulting (MTC) is meeting the demand for a feature-rich yet low-cost solution...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Microsoft expands ad-free Bing search for schools
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Microsoft is expanding a program that gives schools the ability to prevent ads from appearing in search results when they use its Bing search engine. The program, launched in a pilot program earlier...
Read more on Business Balla
 
For Working Women, Focus On Beauty Erodes Self Confidence
In a guest post last month, “‘Princeton Mom’ Gives Dumb Advice On Marrying Smart,” Lisa Endlich Heffernan rebutted the argument that smart girls who don’t find husbands in college are destined for spinsterhood. Here she...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Laura Prepon: Tom Cruise is hot
Laura Prepon thinks Tom Cruise is "hot". The 'Orange is the New Black' actress insists rumors she is dating the 'Mission: Impossible' star are untrue, but she is "flattered" by the speculation, even though she finds it...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Meryl Streep tired of awards
Meryl Streep "hates" inviting people to awards ceremonies. The 64-year-old actress - who has been nominated for an Oscar 18 times and won three of the coveted statuettes - picked up the 14th annual Monte Cristo Award by...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Leslie Mann regrets using marriage as inspiration for This Is 40
Leslie Mann regrets using her marriage as inspiration for 'This Is 40'. The 'Other Woman' star admits she became "annoyed" by the "invasive" questions about her relationship with director Judd Apatow when she starred...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
A Compelling Case for the Mid Cap Value ETF (IWS)
U.S. equity markets have struggled to maintain the bullish momentum seen throughout 2013. While the broader market has managed to stay afloat, certain sectors have fallen from the record highs enjoyed last year;...
Read more on Business Balla
 
CDC Would Sacrifice Kids To Cut Healthcare Costs
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) appears to have assumed a role that was never intended: reducing the ability of vaccines to save lives.  At their past two meetings, the CDC’s vaccine advisory...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Apple vs. Samsung Patent Case Pulls Google Into The Spotlight To Back Its Android Partner
There are a lot of interesting facts, presentations, and historical detail coming out of the Apple vs. Samsung patent case currently under way. It is also slowly reeling in Google’s flavour of Android into the spotlight...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Quentin Tarantino's Gawker lawsuit dismissed
Quentin Tarantino's lawsuit against Gawker has been dismissed. The award-winning director was furious when the website posted a link to a leaked copy of his 'Hateful Eight' script, forcing him to scrap plans for the...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
 
Auto Balla Sexy Balla Sport Balla TV Balla Politics Balla Movie Balla Apple Balla Business Balla Ad Balla Celebrity Balla