Bioniche Life Sciences rejects second shareholder meeting request by dissidents

BELLEVILLE, Ont. – Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (TSX:BNC) rejected Wednesday a second request for a shareholder meeting by a group of dissident investors seeking to replace the company’s board of directors.

The company said the board has “considered the appropriate timing for a shareholder meeting and concluded that a meeting in accordance with the normal cycle is in the best interests of the shareholders and the company.”

The dissident shareholders, led by former Biovail Corp. executives William Wells and Greg Gubitz, filed a second request earlier this month calling for a special meeting.

The so-called “concerned shareholders” have accused management of failing to deliver on past promises in the face of a steady decline in the company’s business and an erosion of shareholder value.

An earlier request, made on April 25, was rejected by the board.

Bioniche said that lawyers for Wells and Gubitz have told the company that they intend to bring a court application to require an earlier meeting.

The Bioniche board will oppose the application, the company said.

Bioniche researches, develops, manufactures and commercializes health products used to treat humans and animals.

The company has said that it has been reviewing several strategic partnering and investment-related offers over recent months and suggested the dissident shareholder group hasn’t come up with the best alternative.