Convicted ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli has finally been ousted as boss of the pharmaceutical company he founded, The Post has learned.
Activist shareholders launched the group of directors still loyal to Shkreli at the annual general meeting of Turing’s parent company Vyera on Thursday.
Shkreli shot to fame after raising the price of life-saving AIDS treatment Daraprim to $750 a pill from $17.50 after securing exclusive rights to it in 2015.
“The plan is to remove Martin from the business, restore the price of Daraprim to pre-Shkreli levels, and do what’s right first with patients, doctors and then shareholders,” Jason Aryeh, an activist long-timer who previously sought to take control of the company. , told the Post.
Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2017 after being convicted of securities fraud while running two hedge funds.
The victory for the activists comes after a long and drawn out proxy battle. In June 2021, Aryeh and other activist investors failed – the 39-year-old fraudster voting his shares from prison.
This time, however, Shkreli was barred by Vyera from voting his shares. Still, it wasn’t a slam dunk the activists would win. They feared the current directors – who owned around 44% – would do tricks like issuing new shares to themselves.
The new group is taking over a business in disarray, insiders told the Post.
In June, Turing had “only $23 million in cash, compared to $50 million the previous quarter,” Aryeh said. “No idea what they’re doing – they burned $27 million…where did it go?”
“The plan is to liquidate all remaining assets and return the money to shareholders,” Aryeh added. “There’s going to be more skeletons they’re going to uncover – I guess it will eventually go away.”
Derek Abbott, a bankruptcy attorney who was appointed as a legal “receiver,” led the charge in this proxy battle. Abbott declined to comment.
In December, the Federal Trade Commission accused Shkreli in court of using anti-competitive tactics to drive up the price of Daraprim. The federal government won, resulting in the banning of Shkreli from the pharmaceutical industry in the United States.
However, because Vyera is based in Switzerland – and subject to Swiss law – the FTC ban was not enforceable.
Shkreli was released from prison in May and moved to a halfway house, from where he is expected to be released on September 14.
He was also banned from Twitter in 2017 for “targeted harassment” of a journalist.
After his early release from prison, Shkreli joked on Facebook, “Getting out of real jail is easier than getting out of Twitter jail.”