Loss of 2 contracts
Within the last 12 months, the situation for HLS has become critical. Due to the recession and campaign pressure, HLS have suffered a great deal financially. HLS lost two major contracts with customers recently which has set them back.
Share price and recession
The past year have seen their share price drop by 75%, from just under $40 to around $8. This drop has not just been due to the recession and exchange rates, but also to global campaigning against their shareholder base and customers. While all companies have suffered a loss of share price in the recession, it is only HLS that have dropped by such a huge amount. Other companies such as Covance have not had their share price drop by 75%.
Loss of top shareholders, Baker Buyout:
HLS have lost their top 5 shareholders in the past 4 months, including Barclays, Bank of New York Mellon and Highbridge Capital. Due to their share price crashing, Baker has even proposed buying out the remaining shares at a fixed price of $8.50, to sell the a newly formed company 'Lion Holdings, Inc.', an entity that is controlled by Andrew Baker, Chairman and CEO of Life Sciences. As a result, remaining shareholders are now filing two lawsuits against HLS as the price is unfair on those who paid a lot more. This merger deal costing over $110 million, yet more funding will put further financial debt on Baker and will make HLS (LSR) a private company.
£72 million debt:
HLS (LSR) are still £72 million in debt and their first published accounts for this year show a revenue decrease of 24%. In addition, none of the HLS directors were able to have bonuses last year. Brian Cass has had to cut jobs inside the UK labs and has himself said the future for HLS looks “uncertain”.
HLS have borrowed a large sum of money due to financial problems, and this has to be repaid by 2011. However HLS will need to secure a loan to do so and currently are not able to get one. Intensive targeting of shareholders has sent out a strong message to all prospective investors that they will be targeted around the world if they provide financial support to HLS and so this has made it extremely difficult for them. This is one of the reasons why Baker is trying to make HLS (LSR) a private company.
Because of HLS’ poor financial situation and continuous pressure, we’ve been told by a financial expert that if HLS were to close one of their customers in the next 12 months, they will probably close down – and if they lost two customers, they would definitely close down.
HLS need a $60million loan to pay off all their debts, which currently looks very unlikely that they will get it. They are likely to go bankrupt before this point if they lost an important customer.
Several co-ordinated Global Weeks of Action and ‘SHAC Mondays’ introduced over the past year to focus global targeting of specific customers, suppliers and other important targets. In 2008 there were over 800 demos globally against HLS. An increase on demos in 2007, despite draconian measures, show trials and long sentences being given to a few SHAC campaigners! With your support, the campaign continues.
HLS exposed again in 2008:
Now exposed 7 times in 12 years. As a result of this we are asking all groups to focus mainly on HLS’ top customers, such as Novartis, Astra Zeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sanofi Aventis, Bayer and so on.
SHAC IS GETTING STRONGER
SHAC North America:
SHAC North America has been launched at this week's US AR 2009 conference in LA, and with campaigning and more groups growing across Europe, South America and the UK, it time to put more pressure on these customers, which are the life blood of HLS. NO CUSTOMERS = NO HLS. The campaign is currently in a strong position and we have an excellent opportunity to close HLS while they are more vulnerable.
But we need your help to close HLS and help the animals inside this hell-hole, we need a concerted push and more pressure put on HLS' top customers now and or the follow months. Please organise a demo in your area, we can supply you with campaign resources and put you in touch with fellow campaigners and like-minded people across the globe.
Also look at our Diary Dates page for upcoming demos, including a UK national demo at Highgate rabbit farm, a rabbit breeder who supply HLS and the next Global Week of Action in September:
See you on the streets!
Thank you all for your continued support over this long campaign, it has been a long and hard fight, but it not a fight we can shy away from, from the animals' sake and for humanity we will not stop until our job is done. Its up to all of us whether HLS closes sooner or later. It time to continue forward and fight harder then ever for the animals in HLS - until all are free!
UK targets: http://www.shac.net/action/uk_targets/index.html
Global targets: http://www.shac.net/action/customers/clients/index.html
We especially need to concentrate on HLS' main customers now, again thank you for your support. Lets make it happen!