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Aceto faces delisting of shares after bankruptcy filing

Aceto Corp. said it received the delisting

 Aceto Corp. said it received the delisting notice from NASDAQ on Thursday. Credit: Barry Sloan

Aceto Corp., which filed for bankruptcy protection this week, faces delisting of its stock from the Nasdaq stock market, the Port Washington company announced Friday.

The seller of chemicals and manufacturer of generic drugs said it was notified on Thursday by Nasdaq that “trading of the company’s common stock…will be suspended at the opening of business on Monday, March 4," unless Aceto appeals the stock market’s determination.

Aceto said it would appeal to the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Hearing Panel to “stay the suspension of the company’s common stock” so a hearing can be held.

“There can be no assurance the panel will grant the company’s request for continued listing,” Aceto said.

Shares closed down 6 cents, or 20 percent, to 25 cents on Friday. A day earlier, the stock hit a 52-week low of 23 cents. In March, shares hit a 52-week high of $7.85.

Investors sent the stock price down in reaction to Aceto's announcement Tuesday night that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and plans to sell most of itself at court-supervised auctions.

The company said it will dispose of its chemicals unit and Rising Pharmaceuticals unit in separate transactions to the highest bidder. New Mountain Capital, a private equity firm in Manhattan, has offered to buy the chemicals unit, which primarily serves agriculture and manufacturing, for $338 million. The company hasn't yet announced a sales agreement for Rising.

Aceto ran into trouble with its ambitious and expensive plan to become a drug manufacturer. A string of acquisitions left the company with a lot of debt.

The bankruptcy filing and asset auctions were precipitated by a deteriorating financial situation between June and December, which saw Aceto's available cash fall from $101 million to $42 million.

As part of the bankruptcy process, Aceto received a commitment for $60 million in financing to remain open and pay the company's workforce of 315 people, executives announced Tuesday.

After Friday's market close, Aceto has a stock-market value of $7.9 million. That's down from $718 million four years ago.


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