Emergent CEO Unloaded $10M In Stock Before Plant Ruined 15M COVID Vaccine Doses The Emergent BioSolutions plant, a manufacturing partner for Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine, in Baltimore, Maryland. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty)
By Jim Thomas | Monday, 26 April 2021 04:39 PM
Emergent BioSolutions CEO Robert G. Kramer unloaded approximately $10 million in company stock in January and early February before the company ruined 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine in March due to contamination, according to The Washington Post.
The transactions were Kramer’s first substantive sales of Emergent stock since April 2016, according to a review of securities filings by The Washington Post.
Based on the market price, the Post said, the stocks that Kramer sold would now fetch only about $5.5 million.
Emergent BioSolutions, a government contractor, saw its stock price plummet by over 50 percent on Feb. 19 after the company’s financial results were published. It was reported that the company's plant in Baltimore that same month ruined millions of doses of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine.
Maryland investors filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland against Kramer, Emergent and others, alleging an artificial inflation of stock price by promoting their production of COVID-19 vaccines, and that they concealed manufacturing problems which resulted in the dumping of Johnson & Johnson vaccines it produced, reports Bloomberg.
Emergent’s share price fell $12.45—more than 13%—in the day after the Johnson & Johnson contamination news broke March 31. The company’s share price allegedly dropped more than 15% total by the close of trading on April 5 as more stories came out about the Baltimore plant’s problems, according to Bloomberg.
Emergent stock has fallen since mid-February to about $62 a share from $125 a share.
Consequently, Emergent also temporarily halted new production there altogether, and AstraZeneca moved production of its own vaccine out of the facility.
Emergent stated that the stock sale was a part of the planned “trading plan” in accordance with the rules issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), reports the Daily Caller.
“Mr. Kramer, our executive team and our board of directors are held to the highest ethical standards and follow strict compliance with all laws and regulations governing financial transactions,” Nina DeLorenzo, a spokeswoman for Emergent, told the outlet.
“Any insinuation of wrongdoing is without evidence or merit,” she added.