WELLCOME TRUST PREPARING FOR CASH NEEDS WITH 20% STOCK OFFER
WELLCOME TRUST PREPARING FOR CASH NEEDS WITH 20% STOCK OFFER, the organization announced on May 13. "The trustees have for some time been concerned about the wisdom of having all their eggs in one basket notwithstanding the excellence of the basket," commented Sir David Steel, chairman of the trustees. He added that the sale will increase the organization's aid to medical research "at a time when funds are badly needed." Burroughs-Wellcome, an American subsidiary, indicated that the offer, which is expected to take place early in 1986, is still in the conceptual stage and is contingent upon a favorable ruling by the U.K.'s Charities Commission. Robert Fleming & Co., an English merchant bank appointed to advise Wellcome on the stock sale, estimated that the deal is expected to raise between $375 mil. and $500 mil. and indicated that the company is worth approximately $1.9 bil. Under current contingency plans, the trust intends to make the stock available only in the U.K. The release noted that under the terms of the proposed sale, the trustees agree to make no further sale of shares within two years of the original sale. In addition, they agree not to reduce their holding below 50% at any time. Finally, provisions will be made to ensure that no single shareholder can own more than 10% of the Wellcome Foundation. The Wellcome Trust is a charitable institution which currently owns 100% of the Wellcome Foundation Ltd., the operating and holding entity of the worldwide medical research and pharmaceutical manufacturer. The trust uses profits generated by the Wellcome Foundation and its numerous subsidiaries to further its various philanthropic causes.
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