The billionaire family behind Hikma Pharmaceuticals has cashed in £33 million of shares in the FTSE100 drugs giant after its stock was boosted by the coronavirus crisis.
HMS Holding SAL, a family trust of the Jordanian Darwazah family, offloaded 1.35 million Hikma shares at £24.50 each on Wednesday.
Hikma, whose market value leapt to £6 billion amid increasing demand for its drugs during the pandemic, is run by executive chairman Said Darwazah and executive vice chairman Mazen Darwazah, who are both shareholders of the family trust.
Under the microscope: Hikma’s market value has leapt to £6 billion amid increasing demand for its drugs during the pandemic
The company was set up in 1978 by their late father Samih Darwazah, who died in 2015. It floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2005 and entered the FTSE100 a decade later.
The shares were sold after the family trust was liquidated. The family investment vehicle Darhold still owns a 26 per cent stake in Hikma worth nearly £1.6 billion.
Hikma shares have jumped 45 per cent since the end of March, making it one of the best performing stocks on the FTSE100 this year. In an update at the end of April, Hikma said its injectables business in the US and Europe had seen a huge rise in demand ‘driven in part by the Covid-19 outbreak’.
On Tuesday – the day before the family trust sold shares – Hikma announced it had launched its new anaesthetic drug in the US after receiving approval from regulators.
Propofol Injectable Emulsion can be used for patients in intensive care who require intubation and mechanical ventilation. The company said the drug was currently on the US Food and Drug Administration’s shortage list ‘following a surge in demand due to the increase in hospitalised, ventilated patients resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic’.
Hikma shares have also been boosted by the US courts, which ruled that its generic version of the heart drug Vascepa did not infringe on a rival’s patents.
The company underlined its financial strength during the pandemic by confirming it would be paying a final dividend, meaning the total payout for 2019 was 16 per cent higher than for 2018.
A spokesman said: ‘HMS Holding SAL, a family trust in which Said Darwazah and Mazen Darwazah are shareholders, has been liquidated leading to the sale of 1.35 million shares.
‘Darhold, the family investment vehicle, continues to hold just over 63 million shares representing 26 per cent of Hikma’s issued share capital.’
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