Sunday 26 February 2017

Kelly Martin ups stake in biotech fund Malin

Paul O'Donoghue

Malin chief executive Kelly Martin has featured among a buy-up of shares at the pharma group
Malin chief executive Kelly Martin has featured among a buy-up of shares at the pharma group

Several senior figures at Irish biotech fund Malin, including CEO and former Elan boss Kelly Martin, have spent over €300,000 buying up shares in the company over the past month.

Malin raised €330m in Europe's biggest biotech IPO last March when it floated on the Irish Stock Exchange.

It has received backing from several heavy-hitting investors including UK financial guru Neil Woodford and US billionaire and founder of software giant SAS Institute, James Goodnight. The State also invested €50m to acquire a 15pc stake in the firm through the Irish Strategic Investment Fund.

Malin is headed up by Kelly Martin, who took over from former CEO Adrian Howd in March. Mr Howd assumed the role of chief investment officer and is responsible for developing the company's assets.

Kelly Martin took over at Irish biotech giant Elan in 2003 in the wake of accounting troubles at the firm. He cleaned it up and sold it to Perrigo for $8.6bn a decade later. According to stock exchange filings, he purchased 7,863 ordinary shares at a total cost of just under €90,000 during the week. Following the transaction Mr Martin holds 2.6m shares in Malin, or 6.6pc of its issued share capital.

Chairman John Given, who also worked at Elan as the company's executive VP and general counsel, bought 10,000 shares at a price of €106,000. Non-executive director Kyran McLaughlin, the former joint boss of Davy Stockbrokers who served as Elan's chairman before its sale, also paid €106,000 to acquire 10,000 shares in the fund.

So far, Malin has taken stakes in more than a dozen companies, including acne drug group Novan and African speciality pharma group Serenus. One of its largest investments is a €73m punt on UK biotech firm Immunocore, which is focused on cancer treatments.

Mr Howd has previously said Malin may look to realise some of the value from its portfolio over the next 12 months.

Sunday Indo Business

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