State-backed fund expected to back Malin IPO

Britsh fund manager Neil Woodford also purchasing shares

Malin has said it will invest in companies for which an initial public offering (IPO) or trade sale is premature

Malin has said it will invest in companies for which an initial public offering (IPO) or trade sale is premature

 

Leading British fund manager Neil Woodford and the Irish state’s new strategic investment fund are among the investors who have committed to purchasing shares in life sciences company Malin, the Irish firm said on Thursday.

Malin, set up by a number of former Elan executives to invest in privately held life science assets, plans to raise between €275 million and €325 million in one of Europe’s biggest biotechnology IPOs.

Malin said cornerstone investors, including the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and Woodford Investment Management, the firm set up last year by star fund manager Woodford, would account for more than half of the estimated placing.

“The commitment by a select group of key investors, notable for their business acumen, long-term approach to investing and enviable track record, reflects their collective confidence in Malin’s board,” Malin chairman John Given said in a statement.

Mr Woodford, a favourite among investors who achieved near cult-like status during his time at Invesco Perpetual due to his strong track record, will own a little over 20 per cent of Malin stock, a source close to the company said.

ISIF will take a mid-to-high teen percentage, the source added, in what will be one of its first investments since it subsumed the Irish state’s pension reserve fund with the aim of deploying over €7 billion to support economic activity.

Other investors include Peter Loescher, a former Siemens chief executive and ex-president of Merck, who will join fellow industry veterans, directors Kelly Martin and Bob Ingram, who oversaw Elan’s sale in 2013, at Malin.

Malin has said it will invest in companies for which an initial public offering (IPO) or trade sale is premature and provide the long term capital and industry experience it says venture capital and private equity funds cannot guarantee.

It has seven such firms lined up, from a US disinfection technology company to a Pan-African distributor, with its IPO set to top the €200 million pounds Circassia raised a year ago in the biggest London market biotech debut in years.

Reuters