Theranos Offers Investors Very Unusual Deal
Troubled firm will offer extra shares to investors if they don't sue
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2017 2:10 AM CDT
Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos, speaks at the Fortune Global Forum in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

(Newser) – The founder of troubled blood-testing firm Theranos is giving up some of her stake in the company in a bid to prevent yet more lawsuits, reports the Wall Street Journal. Elizabeth Holmes is offering investors up to two extra shares for every one they own in return for a promise not to sue the company. Theranos already is being sued by former partner Walgreens, among others, after previous reporting by the Journal called into question the legitimacy of its blood tests. The unusual offer came after months of talks with leading investors, who put more than $600 million into the company in a funding round in 2015. The deal provides "a path forward in partnership with employees, investors, and other stakeholders," Theranos director Daniel J. Warmenhoven said in a statement to TechCrunch.

Warmenhoven said Holmes' decision to contribute her own shares in the "uniquely structured deal" shows "a level of selflessness and grace reflecting her commitment to the company's success." It's not clear how many shares Holmes herself is giving up, but Gizmodo thinks "it’ll be interesting to see what happens to Holmes after she gives up the power she once held so closely." The Journal says high-profile Theranos investor Rupert Murdoch reached a separate deal: He agreed to sell the shares he paid $125 million for in 2015 back to the company for as little as $1 in a move that allows him to claim an investment loss for tax purposes. (After two huge rounds of layoffs, Theranos is focusing on a new device.)

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