UPDATE 1-Sequenom raises $51.6 mln; alleviates funding fears
* Says 12.4 mln shares priced at $4.15/shr
* Says intends to use proceeds for R&D, marketing
* Shares fall 4 pct
May 12 (Reuters) - Sequenom Inc (SQNM.O) said it has raised about $51.6 million through a private placement, alleviating investor concerns about the genetic analysis products maker's ability to raise much-needed funding.
The company, which faces several legal and regulatory probes from the mishandling of test data, agreed to issue and sell about 12.4 million shares to certain investors at a price of $4.15 a share, a 23 percent discount to the stock's Tuesday close of $5.37.
Sequenom shares rose 5 percent Wednesday in early morning trade, but pared those gains to trade down 4 percent at $5.14 on Nasdaq.
"That the stock is holding up relatively well considering the terms of the private placement (was) a sign that investors considered the fact that they would get a financing done at all to be positive," Hapoalim Securities analyst Raghuram Selvaraju said
"(But) the fact that investors were only willing to pay $4.15 for this deal indicates to me that a lot of them are still very skeptical about the company's prospects," he added.
Last week, Selvaraju had said that the market would "take it as a bad sign" if the company raised less than about $40 million in new financing. [ID:nSGE6460KC]
Sequenom had in 2009 delayed the launch of its key Down syndrome test, citing mishandling of research and development test data by employees.
On Wednesday, Sequenom said it intends to use the net proceeds of the private placement to finance its R&D programs and the marketing its diagnostic tests. (Reporting by Anuradha Ramanathan in Bangalore; Editing by Anthony Kurian)
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