Skip to content or view screen version

SHAC Financial Campaign Update - Andrew Baker proposes HLS buyout

SHAC | 08.03.2009 21:09 | SHAC | Analysis | Animal Liberation | Social Struggles | World

On March 3rd 2009, Andrew Baker, Chairman and CEO of LSR (Life Science Research / Huntingdon Life Sciences) made a non-binding proposal to purchase all of the outstanding shares of LSR for a price of $7.50 per share.

This desperate move to try to reassure the financial community, and keep the company listed on the NYSE ARCA exchange comes less than seven weeks after Andrew Baker told the Telegraph that Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) were planning on returning their operating headquarters to the UK, after being forced from the country by the SHAC campaign in 2001. On January 17th 2009, Mr. Baker was quoted as saying that HLS were; "in the middle of trying to get an English bank account and an English loan" to the value of £30 million, and that "Brian Cass [the chief executive of HLS] is leading a really heavy push to achieve this". Currently HLS' banking is administered by the bank of england, after they were deserted by every commercial bank.

Just nine days after this public announcement, a spokesperson from HLS refuted that the company were looking for such facilities in the UK in the Huntingdon Weekly News. They claimed that Mr. Bakers comments were; "a personal view and a long-term aim for the company." Presumably the views of the UK financial community are the same as they were when HLS were forced to move their finances to the USA.

In a desperate attempt to bolster HLS' share price, which has fallen by well over 80% since October 2008 thus reaching a 4 1/2 year low, Andrew Baker has now publicly announced that he intends to buy out all outstanding HLS shares, totaling some $90 million. This is clearly either a very cynical attempt to steady a fast falling share price, or it is the last throw of the dice for HLS. What it does demonstrate is that the financial campaign led by SHAC in the UK and the USA has successfully deterred independent parties from dealing in LSR stock, to such a degree that Andrew Baker has felt compelled to make this move.

The offer made by Andrew Baker to the board of HLS is full of loopholes for him to wriggle out of the deal, mainly centered around his, very unlikely, ability to raise the capital. Should the board accept this proposal then HLS will have played straight into our hands, and will be prime for finishing off. With Brian Cass declaring in their 2008 report, that the outlook for 2009 is uncertain, Huntingdon's weakness is really starting to show. Their income in the final quarter of 2008 was 19% down on the previous year. In the final quarter they made a loss of nearly $6 million and their current liabilities still outweigh their assets.

With 350 activists marching through London's financial district on Friday February 27th, doubling the numbers predicted by police, the SHAC (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) campaign has proved that it continues undaunted. Protests were up 18% in 2008 (829) compared to 2007 (700), and in the first two months of 2009 there has been a 58% increase from the same period in 2008. Protests since 2008 have taken place in 23 countries, on every inhabited continent on the planet: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA (13 states), and Venezuela.

A spokesperson from SHAC said: "With unprecedented attempts to gain capital, the anger caused by the recent jailing of SHAC campaigners, yet another exposé inside HLS' primate unit and the ongoing financial climate, Brian Cass is right to say that 2009 looks uncertain for HLS. For SHAC however, nothing is uncertain. We will continue to strike against HLS until they are closed once and for all. If the government will not revoke their license as they should have a decade ago, we will continue to do their job for them. If Andrew Baker follows through with his offer, then there will be no plan B's left for HLS."

- e-mail:
- Homepage: