On The Block — Oct 09 Issue

IGI Inc. is looking for a makeover. The publicly-traded manufacturer of cosmetics, skin care and consumer products has retained Landmark Financial Corp. as financial advisor to explore strategic alternatives. IGI (AMEX:IG) owns the patent for a product called Novasome, which provides improved dermal absorption and low potential for irritations in skin care products. Novasome is licensed to Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Inc. and Estee Lauder Cos, among others. The company has some blemishes on its financial reports. Total revenues for IGI’s first quarter ended March 31, 2006 (its most recent earnings report) logged in at $581,000, a drop of $194,000 from the $775,000 it generated in Q1 2005. IGI reported a net loss of $452,000, for the quarter, compared to a net loss of $183,000 in Q1 2005.

If crime doesn’t pay, then going legit isn’t a sure win either. Witness Napster, the former peer-to-peer Web site that had been the bane of every recording label’s existence. After going legit–and charging users for downloads–Napster has had trouble finding customers. In its heyday, Napster had as many as 70 million users. Today it has little more than 500,000 subscribers. The company has hired UBS to explore options, and is reportedly valued at up to $200 million.

CAN YOU MENTION VENTURE BACKERS?Boca Raton, Fla.-based Nabi Biopharmaceuticals had hired Banc of America Securities LLC to explore the full range of strategic alternatives, including an outright sale or merger of all or part of the company. Nabi is focused on developing products that help in the treatment of hepatitis, kidney disease and nicotine addiction. For the second quarter of 2006, the company reported total revenues of $29.9 million, compared to $25.9 million in the second quarter of last year. The increase was driven by improved pricing and strong patient demand for its PhosLo (calcium acetate) product. It’s Q2 net losses shrank, to $14.8 million, from $20.9 million in the year-earlier period.

To enhance financial flexibility and reduce debt, Chiquita Brands International Inc. (NYSE:CQB), is suspending its quarterly dividend and exploring alternatives for the sale of its shipping assets and shipping-related logistics activities. With regards to the shipping assets, Chiquita will consider various structures, including the sale and lease-back of the company’s ocean-going shipping fleet, the sale or outsourcing of related ocean-shipping assets and container operations, and entry into a long-term strategic partnership to meet all of Chiquita’s international cargo transportation needs. The assets consist of 12 refrigerated cargo vessels—eight reefer ships and four container ships—that transport approximately 70% of Chiquita bananas to markets in Europe and North America.