Boston Scientific Co-Founders Sell Stock; Didn’t Mean It, Company Says

Lots of people have been selling Boston Scientific stock, and that includes the co-founders of the company. The Natick, MA-based medical device company (NYSE: BSX) said today that co-founders Pete Nicholas and John Abele (an Xconomist) sold off about 13 million of their shares in the company yesterday, during frenzied volume of 38 million shares for the day, about triple the three-month trailing average.

These sales were triggered by an automatic share-selling plan related to collateralized loans of Nicholas, Abele, and a trust for Abele’s children, the company said. It was ignited by the recent turmoil in the financial markets, and the inability of the co-founders to get access to their assets because of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.

The real reason for the unusual press release, of course, is to make sure the masses of investors don’t get the idea that Nicholas and Abele have lost faith in the company. The flood of available shares for sale in the market drove it down to a 52-week low of $8.72 yesterday, before it closed at $8.95. “These automatic sales are disappointing and beyond our control,” said Abele, in a company-issued statement. “My confidence in the Company and its long-term prospects remains undiminished.”

The worst may still to be come, however, the company warned, because there may be more involuntary selling of the founders’ stock today or in the near future, it said. This morning, the stock seemed pretty stable at $9.04 at 9:44 am Eastern time, but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on.

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