What: Shares of MannKind (NASDAQ:56400P706) are once again moving higher, up more than 23% as of 11:15 a.m. ET on incredibly high volume after a report was released saying that the company hopes to be bought.
So what: Reuters is reporting that the inhaled insulin maker is "exploring strategic options, including the sale of itself." Reuters obtained this information from "people familiar with the matter," who said that the company is currently working with investment bankers to determine its options.
MannKind has declined to comment on the report thus far, but it has lent some credibility to the story as it scheduled a special investors conference call to be held on Feb. 3 to "discuss company developments."
Now what: Without more information to go on right now, it's hard to determine if this news is indeed true or if it's just a rumor. CEO Matthew Pfeffer mentioned during his talk at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference that he was interested in holding a special investor call before its next earnings release to increase the company's transparency with shareholders.
As he said then:
I'd like to consider having a call with our investors sometime between now and the next earnings call where we can go into a little more detail of some of these things. I hope we'll have a little clearer path we can lay out for some of the initiatives we have going on that we can do after a few days' effort in a 25-minute presentation.
At the time, he was talking about sharing more details about plans to extend their cash runway out as long as possible and their initial thoughts on how they can market Afrezza in a low-cost manner after they take it back from Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY), so the timing could just be a coincidence. Or it is possible that they really are looking to sell themselves and wanted to schedule a call to let their investors know.
It is worth remembering that any potential buyer would have to be willing to take over the company's sizable debt load and look for ways to make Afrezza a success, which might be a tall order after Sanofi failed. It's unclear right now if it were to be bought whether the hunk of money that it owes to Sanofi from its portion of the loss-sharing agreement related to Afrezza's launch would have to be repaid.
Until we know more, it's hard to know what to make of this story so investors might want to sit tight until next week's call.