September 4, 1998
Sale of Michigan Biologic Products Institute Final
The sale of the Michigan Biologic Products Institute (MBPI) was completed today, as all employees at the Lansing-based lab received offers of employment with BioPort, the firm recommended by the State Administrative Board to purchase the lab.
"Today marks the close of a long, thoughtful and thorough sale process," said Michigan Biologic Products Commission Chair Dennis L. Schornack. "We are extremely pleased that Michigan has received its fair share and that the dedicated employees of the lab will continue working with increases in their salaries." Under BioPort ownership, all employees have been offered an increase in their salaries.
Today's action completes the lengthy sale process that began in February of 1996. Nearly 20 interested firms from nine different countries investigated purchasing the Michigan Biologic Products Institute. MBPI is the only remaining state owned laboratory in the country and the only FDA licensed manufacturer of the anthrax vaccine.
In June of 1998, the State Administrative Board unanimously approved the sale of the Michigan Biologic Products Institute to BioPort for nearly $25 million in cash, secured notes, product donations and royalties. BioPort is under the direction of Admiral William Crowe, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former Ambassador to the United Kingdom and former Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
BioPort's controlling shareholder is Crowe's, Intervac L.L.C., a vaccine and pharmaceutical investment and marketing firm based in Washington, D.C. Michigan Biologic Products, Inc., based in Lansing and made up of seven key managers of the lab, is a minority shareholder of BioPort and Lansing-based Neogen Corporation is a strategic partner of BioPort. BioPort has also set aside 20 percent of its stock for an employee incentive program.
"Now we can move forward with our commitment to Michigan and the Greater Lansing community," said Admiral Crowe. "The laboratory-now BioPort-will continue to provide quality jobs to employees and quality products to all of our customers including the Department of Defense."
In June, the State Administrative Board reviewed two separate independent evaluations of the price being paid for MBPI and the process used by the Michigan Biologic Products Commission to sell the Institute. The law authorizing the lab sale required the State Administrative Board to conduct an independent financial evaluation of the sale price. The law also required the Auditor General to review the entire sale process and report to the Legislature before the sale was approved.
Both independent evaluations confirmed the appropriateness of the Commission's conduct during the sale and the fairness of the sale to the taxpayers of Michigan.
Terms of the sale ensure that Michigan will maintain preferential access to the important products the Institute produces. These include Immune Serum Globulin (IG), Rabies Vaccine, and Diphtheria Tetanus (DT) vaccine.
Fuad El-Hibri, President and CEO of BioPort said "BioPort is determined to show that this transaction is another example of a successful privatization by the state of Michigan."
"We are extremely proud to be a part of the bid accepted by the State of Michigan," said Dr. Robert Myers, Chief Operating Officer of BioPort and the nation's leading expert on anthrax. "It was a fair deal to the state and it will continue to benefit Lansing in the form of jobs and tax base."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Geralyn Lasher (517) 241-2112
September 4, 1998 Kelly Rossman-McKinney (517) 487-9320