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Vivus to sell $200 million in convertible debt

NEW YORK (AP) -- Weight loss drug maker Vivus Inc. said Tuesday it plans to sell $200 million in convertible senior debt due in 2020 in a private transaction.

Vivus said the initial purchasers will have the option to buy another $30 million in notes, which are due May 1, 2020.

The Mountain View, Calif., company said it will enter in a "capped call" transaction to prevent the dilution of its shares once the debt is converted to stock. Some of the proceeds from the sale will be used to fund that transaction. The rest of the proceeds will be used to support commercialization of its drug Qsymia and development of other drugs, and for general corporate purposes.

Vivus reported $4.1 million in Qsymia sales in the first quarter. The drug was approved in July 2012 and went on sale in September.

Shares of Vivus lost 40 cents, or 3 percent, to $13.19 in morning trading.