WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Animal researchers are claiming an important victory with the listing by the New York Stock Exchange of a company targeted by animal rights protestors.
Life Sciences Research, Inc., a Princeton, N.J.-based medical research firm that specializes in animal experiments, announced just before Christmas that it had settled a dispute with the NYSE and would be listed on the exchange's new all-electronic trading platform called Arca -- enabling its shares to be bought and sold anonymously in what observers said would be a blow to protestors.
Life Sciences Research, Inc. is the parent of U.K.-based Huntingdon Life Sciences and has been targeted on both sides of the Atlantic by animal rights activists organized under the name Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, or SHAC.
The protests, which included sometimes violent campaigns of harassment against individual employees of the company and other firms that did business with it, were so successful that NYSE pulled a planned listing on its main exchange last year after market-makers and other financial service providers were threatened by activists.
As part of the agreement for the listing on Arca, Life Sciences Research, Inc. agreed to drop their case against the NYSE about the listing being pulled, the company's Chief Financial Officer Richard Michaelson told United Press International.
Although the company's ticker will not appear on the big board, Michaelson said they were "thrilled" at the Arca listing, adding that the firm's share price rose 40 percent in the first day's trading Friday.
"It is a totally anonymous trading environment," he said of Arca. "In our situation that is a big advantage."
Journalist and animal rights sympathizer Will Potter told UPI that targeting the market-makers -- financial middlemen who promise to buy a company's shares at the prevailing price and make real-time trading possible on the pre-electronic NYSE big board -- had been a "turning point" for SHAC campaigners.