Vivek Ramaswamy seeks to avoid deposition in lawsuit over his biotech empire | World News - Hindustan Times
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2024 Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy trying to duck legal battle over his biotech empire

Aug 29, 2023 06:31 AM IST

Biotech entrepreneur and 2024 presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is trying to avoid deposition in a lawsuit over a corporate deal involving Myovant Sciences

Vivek Ramaswamy, the biotech entrepreneur and a candidate for the 2024 US presidential election, is trying to avoid a deposition in a lawsuit over a corporate deal that he was involved in.

FILE PHOTO: Former biotech executive Vivek Ramaswamy speaks at the first Republican candidates' debate of the 2024 U.S. presidential campaign in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. August 23, 2023. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Former biotech executive Vivek Ramaswamy speaks at the first Republican candidates' debate of the 2024 U.S. presidential campaign in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. August 23, 2023. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo(REUTERS)

The lawsuit was filed by Alpine Partners, an investment firm that owned about 6.6% of Myovant Sciences Ltd., a company that develops drugs for women’s health.

Myovant was a subsidiary of Roivant Sciences, Ramaswamy’s main biotech venture, until it was acquired by Sumitovant Biopharma in March 2023 for $1.7 billion.

Sumitovant Biopharma was created in 2019 by a merger between Roivant and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, a Japanese pharmaceutical company.

Ramaswamy was a board member of both Roivant and Sumitovant until he resigned to run for president.

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Alpine and other shareholders of Myovant claim that they were not paid fairly for their shares in the deal and want Ramaswamy to testify about how he valued the company. They also want him to produce documents related to the negotiation of the deal.

The 38-year-old, however, argues that he has no relevant information to offer and that the deposition would interfere with his presidential campaign. He says he has to travel across the country to meet voters, give speeches, do media interviews, and participate in debates.

“As a candidate for President of the United States, I must frequently travel across the United States to campaign, make speeches, give media interviews, and meet with voters,” Ramaswamy said in a court filing on July 27, first reported by DailyMail.

“The subpoena request and resulting discovery would therefore constitute an undue burden and will materially affect my ability to run for higher office,” he added.

His lawyers also accuse Alpine of trying to “harass him” with the subpoena.

But Alpine’s lawyers counter that Ramaswamy played a key role in approving the deal and likely had discussions about the price and terms of the merger.

The case is still pending in a federal court in Ohio.

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The Indian-origin ‘outsider’ has a net worth of over $950 million according to Forbes, is a political newcomer who impressed many viewers with his performance in the first Republican primary debate last week. He is currently in third place in the polls among the GOP contenders, according to RealClearPolitics.

He is not the only 2024 hopeful who is facing legal troubles. Donald Trump, who leads the GOP field, is facing 91 criminal charges in four different cases, all of which he denies.

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