Statera Biopharma faces Nasdaq delisting, loan default allegations – Loveland Reporter-Herald


Statera Biopharma Inc. (Nasdaq:STAB) is facing delisting from the Nasdaq stock exchange after a sustained decline in its stock price and allegations of loan default that led to the resignation of two members of its board of directors. administration, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Statera is a pharmaceutical company whose lead candidates are designed to treat Crohn’s disease and pancreatic cancer. He first received a delisting notice from Nasdaq on March 23, when he was told he was violating the bid price rule – the bid price for his common stock had traded in below $1 per share for more than 30 days. This notice informed the company that it had until September 19 to correct the problem.

Then, on March 25, Statera received a letter from venture capital firm Avenue Capital Group alleging that Statera had defaulted on an $11.2 million loan. The letter accused Statera of failing to:

  • Provide timely monthly financial statements for certain periods.
  • Obtain Avenue’s consent to repurchase certain securities from shareholders.
  • Pay principal and interest when due, including March 1, 2022.
  • Maintain unrestricted cash and cash equivalents in one or more accounts subject to control agreements in favor of Avenue in the amount of at least $5 million.

Avenue also seized $4.8 million of Statera’s money as part of the allegations set out in the letter.

The same day Statera received Avenue’s letter, two independent members of Statera’s board of directors resigned. Randy Saluck and Lea Verny have both served on the Board’s Audit, Nominating and Corporate Governance and Compensation Committees.

In his resignation letter, which was filed as an exhibit with the SEC, Saluck cited Avenue’s allegations and specifically singled out Statera CEO Mike Handley for criticism.

“We voted on key resolutions without having received full information on several occasions,” Saluck wrote. “This adds to my disappointment at the multitude of bad decisions you have made since taking office and it is clear to me that council directives have not been followed. I just don’t think you’re capable of running the business effectively. It’s a sad day because I really care about this company and have worked so hard to try to be helpful in so many ways. I care deeply about shareholders and hope that management can create value in the future.

The departures of Saluck and Verny place Statera in yet another violation of Nasdaq rules. The exchange requires that a majority of a company’s board members be independent. With Saluck and Verny gone, Statera has only one independent member and two non-independents. It has until May 19 to submit a plan for how it will return to compliance.

Statera’s chief operating officer, Taunia Markvicka, also resigned from her board position on March 28. She will continue to serve as chief operating officer, and her departure from the board has not affected the company’s listing.

Statera must therefore satisfy two Nasdaq rules in order to avoid being delisted. It must increase the closing bid price of its common stock above $1 per share for 10 consecutive days before September 19 to satisfy the bid price rule. It must also submit a plan to Nasdaq by May 19 on how it will regain compliance with its board.

Statera was originally scheduled to report its results for fiscal year 2021 on March 31. He was granted an extension that gives the company until April 15 to report.

Statera stock closed Wednesday at 34 cents per share. It was up 17.3% on the day, but has fallen more than 94% since February 2021.

Several Statera representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

This article was first published by BizWest, an independent news agency, and is published under a license agreement. © 2022 BizWestMedia LLC.

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