ZURICH Feb 23 HBM Healthcare Investments has called on Swiss biotech group Basilea to repay 5 Swiss francs ($5.4) per registered share from the company's capital reserves, a move that would cost roughly 48 million francs.
HBM, which is based in the Cayman Islands and owns more than 20 percent of Basilea's shares, has asked the company to put the share repayment on the agenda of its ordinary general meeting of shareholders, Basilea said in a statement late on Friday.
The Basel-based firm said its board of directors will carefully evaluate the request. Its shareholder meeting takes place on March 28.
Basilea posted a narrower-than-expected net loss of 53 million francs in 2012. The company is facing a crucial year as it awaits regulatory approval for its antibiotic drug ceftobiprole. ($1 = 0.9316 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Nick Macfie)