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Exclusive: Major Vivus shareholder to support activist's slate - source

NEW YORK (Reuters) - QVT Financial LP, the third-largest shareholder in obesity drugmaker Vivus Inc , intends to vote for the full slate of nine directors proposed by dissident investor First Manhattan Co, a source familiar with QVT's thinking said on Wednesday.

The investment firm, which owns a roughly 8.3 percent stake in Vivus according to its latest public filings, has come to the decision because it believes that changes are needed at the drugmaker, the source said.

First Manhattan, Vivus' largest shareholder with a 9.9 percent stake, is seeking to take full control of the company's board with its own nine nominees at the company's annual shareholder meeting on July 15.

The source familiar with QVT's thinking asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak with the media. QVT declined to comment.

Representatives of Vivus and First Manhattan could not be immediately reached for comment.

(Corrects spelling of investment firm's name throughout to QVT instead of GVT)

(Reporting by Soyoung Kim in New York, Additional reporting by Greg Roumeliotis; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)