(Bloomberg News) Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., the maker of wrinkle treatments and acne drugs, fell the most in almost five months in New York trading after the girlfriend of millionaire founder and Chief Executive Officer Jonah Shacknai was found dead yesterday at the executive's beachside home.
The woman, Rebecca Nalepa, 32, was found nude, with a rope around her neck and her hands and feet bound at Shacknai's home at 1043 Ocean Boulevard, Capt. Tim Curran of the San Diego Sheriff's Department homicide unit said today at a briefing. Shacknai's brother, Adam, told police he saw Nalepa hanging over a balcony and cut her down to a courtyard, Curran said.
"This is a very bizarre death, no question about it," Curran said.
The sheriff's department hasn't ruled the death a homicide while the probe continues, Curran said. Adam Shacknai, a guest at the house, is considered a witness, he said. Investigators are in "constant contact" with Jonah Shacknai, who wasn't home when his brother discovered Nalepa's body, Curran said.
"There's no question that Jonah is very much the face of the company and very much a part of the overall vision and strategy," David Amsellem, an analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co. in New York, said in a telephone interview today. The share decline is "just a little panic selling."
Shacknai, 54, founded Medicis in 1988 and is the chairman. He held 904,214 shares of company stock as of May 19, amounting to about $35 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shacknai drew a salary of $1.135 million last year, according to a company regulatory filing. His total compensation, including stock awards and non-equity incentive plan compensation, was $6.3 million.
Medicis dropped $1.49, or 3.7 percent, to $38.56 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the steepest decline since Feb. 24. The shares are up 44 percent this year.
It's unlikely Medicis will see disruption in its day-to-day operations because of the company's "very good bench strength," Amsellem said. He has an "overweight" rating on the shares.
Medicis is "deeply saddened to learn of a tragic incident at a California property owned by Jonah Shacknai," Kara Stancell, a spokeswoman for the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company, said in an e-mailed statement. The company had no further comment, she said.