You can’t believe all that you see on the Internet or what you read in lawsuits. Some lawsuits are “he said, she said.” When I dig deeply into the Relmada Therapeutics lawsuit against its Laidlaw investment banker, it reminds me of the song – “Blame it on the Investment Banker.”
“Spotlight on Relmada”
What are the material facts concerning Relmada and Laidlaw?
Was Laidlaw, the investment banker for Relmada? Yes.
Did Laidlaw help Relmada go public? Yes.
Did their relationship go south thereafter? Yes.
The role of the investment banker is to connect companies with investors. Laidlaw must walk a fine line in making both companies and investors happy. For if Laidlaw encourages investors to purchase a bad stock, then investors are not likely to trust Laidlaw in the future.
“Can You Blame Laidlaw?”
On October 21, 2015, Laidlaw sent the required Schedule 13D proxy document to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In some ways, this was the “starting point” for the dispute between Laidlaw and Relmada. Relmada sued Laidlaw for false proxy statements and violation of fiduciary duties. But did Laidlaw do anything wrong?
Under the law, if an entity is to make a proxy statement, it must file with the SEC. Therefore, legally, Laidlaw did nothing wrong.
Was the Laidlaw proxy statement “false and misleading” as Relmada contends? Well, why would Laidlaw make a false proxy statement to the SEC? Surely, it understands that this would be illegal. Laidlaw should know the truth, since it saw Relmada’s financial figures.
The problem is that no matter what happened, the Relmada stock price has continued to fall. Everyone loses. Laidlaw understands finance, Relmada doesn’t. “Blaming your misfortune on your investment bank” might not work. It simply looks bad.