For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – October 14, 2009 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: American International Group (AIG), Morgan Stanley (MS), Elan Corporation (ELN), Biogen Idec (BIIB) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).
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Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:
AIG to Sell Taiwan Life Unit
American International Group (AIG) said on Monday that it has decided to sell its stake of almost 98% in Taiwan life insurance unit Nan Shan Life Insurance Co. for about $2.2 billion to a group led by Hong Kong-based investment company Primus Financial Holdings.
The Primus consortium, which includes Hong Kong-listed China Strategic Holdings, will take over Nan Shan Life, Taiwan’s largest life insurer by book value. Primus and China Strategic will seek loans from Taiwanese banks to finance the deal.
China Strategic owns an 80% stake in the consortium, while Primus holds the remaining 20%. Following the close of the transaction, Primus consortium will maintain the existing compensation and benefits package for Nan Shan’s 4,000 employees for at least two years.
Pending regulatory approval, Blackstone Advisory Partners and Morgan Stanley (MS) acted as AIG’s financial advisers for this deal.
Subpoena for Elan
Elan Corporation (ELN) recently received a subpoena from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding the company’s disclosure of two brain disorder cases (in July 2008), often fatal, tied to the use of its drug Tysabri for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
Elan has a marketing agreement with Biogen Idec (BIIB) for Tysabri. In addition, the subpoena asked for detailed information regarding clinical trial data on bapineuzumab, a drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Recently, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) paid $885 million for an 18.4% stake in Elan in addition to $500 million for a majority stake in the company’s Alzheimer’s disease pipeline.
As a reminder, in July last year, both Elan and Biogen announced the occurrence of two cases of brain infection, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), in patients taking the drug. Meanwhile, 11 such cases have been reported by the companies through July 2009. Since then, the companies stopped informing public about the infection. The drug was withdrawn from US markets in 2005 due to the PML concern but was reintroduced after one year with a strict warning regarding the occurrence of PML.
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