Malin investors cautious on investment doubling in value

Cantillon: Malin prevented from selling stock for at least 180 days under lock-up agreement

Dublin-listed life sciences investment company Malin’s market value has risen by 11 per cent – or €28 million – over the past two sessions to almost €276 million.

But it reflects just half of the benefit from the €56 million paper profit the company is sitting on in relation to its investment in UK biotech company Immunocore, which more than doubled in value since it floated on the Nasdaq on Friday.

Immunocore, whose most developed pipeline product is an eye cancer therapy, is one of four priority investments Malin has focused on since the company underwent a massive restructuring in late 2018, following a disappointing performance after its own initial public offering (IPO) in 2015. Malin retains 6 per cent of Immunocore after last week's IPO, worth $127.4 million (€105.7 million) as of Monday.

Eczema treatment

It's only of late that Malin has enjoyed some good news, with the company announcing last month that Kymab, another one of the four main investee companies, is to be sold to French drugs giant Sanofi in a deal worth up to $1.45 billion (€1.2 billion). This will result in a $112 million initial payment for Malin's stake of about 10 per cent, with up to $33 million to follow if Kymab, whose most advanced pipeline product is a potentially lucrative treatment for eczema, meets certain milestones.


Price target

Analysts are talking of a price target for Malin of as much as €8.80 – some way off its €10 IPO price but well above Monday’s close at €6.

But investors have good reason to be cautious on the market debut of Immunocore – especially when Malin and other long-standing investors are prevented from selling stock for at least 180 days under a lock-up agreement.

California-based Poseida Therapeutics, which is working on a treatment for bone marrow cancer and in which Malin retains a 15 per cent stake, floated in New York last July amid much initial excitement. The stock, however, is currently wallowing more than 40 per cent off its IPO price.