Oread Laboratories Inc. may expand to provide environmental analysis services if a proposed sale goes through.
The proposed sale of Oread Laboratories Inc. to Lawrence entrepreneur W. David Kimbrell could give the Lawrence pharmaceutical research company a much-needed boost, one of its founders said Friday.
Kimbrell and Howard E. Mossberg, chairman and chief executive officer of Oread Laboratories Inc., announced Friday that they have reached an agreement to recommend to Oread Laboratories shareholders that Kimbrell buy the company's assets for an undisclosed amount.
The sale is contingent on approval from the company's shareholders, who are scheduled to meet Dec. 1.
"What it means for Oread Laboratories is the expansion of the analytical capacity of the lab, to go beyond the current clients and serve those clients that have analytical needs in the environmental area," said Mossberg, who also is Kansas University's director of technology transfer and special counselor to the KU chancellor. Mossberg and the late Takera Higuchi, Regents Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, co-founded Oread Laboratories in 1983.
Kimbrell said Friday that he plans to use Oread Laboratories as a foundation for a new company, Oread Inc., that would provide professional services to the environmental and pharmaceutical industries. The Lawrence businessman, who founded Hall-Kimbrell Environmental Services in 1982 and sold it in 1990, said he is seeking to acquire other Kansas City-area companies for Oread Inc.
Mossberg would not say whether Oread Laboratories stockholders would make money or lose money on the proposed sale.
"The stockholders are going to be best served by taking this action," he said. "I am positive about this event, and I'm looking forward to continuing to work with the group in any way that I can."
Under the proposed sale, Oread Inc. would acquire the physical assets -- including land, buildings and laboratory equipment -- for Oread Laboratories, located at 15th and Wakarusa.
The Oread Laboratories Inc. will change its name to Oread Holdings Inc. and retain ownership of the corporation's proprietary pharmaceutical products and intellectual property.
Mossberg acknowledged that Oread Laboratories' revenues had declined markedly over the past year. Revenues in 1993 reportedly totaled $7.5 million.
William P. Duncan, Oread chief operating officer, this week had blamed the decline on changes in the health-care area and pharmaceutical development. The acquisition should reanimate the company, Mossberg said.
"We were seeking a strategic alliance, and that's what we found in the asset sale, sure," he said. "The fact was that we were certainly looking for a strategic partner to carry on the activities, and that's exactly what we have found here."