Bioglan shares slide 20% as Johnson quits

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The finance director of Bioglan Pharma, the biotech company in talks to buy the skin-care division of Bristol Myers-Squibb, has left the group after less than two months in the job.

Peter Johnson joined Bioglan from Norwich Union in July, but is believed to have clashed with Terry Sadler, Bioglan's flamboyant founder, chairman and chief executive.

Mr Sadler said Mr Johnson's departure was decided on Wednesday. He said: "He's a nice chap but we were sure it would not work out on a long-term basis. There's no point staying in a failing marriage."

The news wiped 20 per cent off the value of Bioglan, whose shares fell 72.5p to 317.5p. There was speculation that the pair disagreed over the way Bioglan should pay for the acquisition from Bristol Myers-Squibb, a US healthcare giant.

Recent speculation suggested Mr Sadler had come under pressure from shareholders to organise a share placing rather than rack up an estimated £500m of additional debt.

Company sources said the deal will be paid for out of debt, while Bioglan will look for opportunities to raise equity finance when the market improves.

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