Sunday 23 October 2016

Malin expected to spin out companies next year

Paul O'Donoghue

Published 22/09/2015 | 02:30

Malin chairman John Given
Malin chairman John Given

Irish biotech investment fund Malin is likely to start floating some of its investee companies within the next 12 months, according to chairman John Given.

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Mr Given, pictured, said the fund is focusing on helping its investees develop after amassing a full investment portfolio earlier this year. He was speaking yesterday after the announcement of Malin's interim results, which show that it made an after-tax loss of €26.6m in the period to the end of June.

Malin raised €330m in Europe's biggest biotech IPO last March. Since then it has been in investment mode, sinking cash into a range of companies such as acne drug group Novan and hot Irish prospect 3D4Medical, a medical technology company that was featured on stage at Apple's special event earlier this month.

As Malin had only been operational for about three months by the end of June, the bulk of its costs for the period, about €17m, relate to the establishment and floatation of the company.

The interim results also show that the fund had cash and cash equivalents of €163.7m as of the end of June. However, since then the company has made several investments, which included taking a €73m stake in British biotech firm Immunocore. It has also since raised €42m in a share placing and so currently has "just under €100m" in cash reserves, according to Mr Given.

He said that the firm is now concentrating on growing its investee companies, saying: "We will be looking at finding ways to deliver value to shareholder at inflection points, we would be looking at the next 12 months. Possibly via IPOs, selling off parts of the companies would be less likely."

He added: "For our model it is not necessary to sell, with some exceptions. Until the market can put a price on something, which tends to be through a partial float or third party transactions, the market doesn't see the underlying value of the asset."

Chief investment officer Adrian Howd says many of the investee companies are already developing "at a pace", pointing to the likes of Immunocore, which recently saw its flagship cancer drug accepted to participate in the European Medicines Agency's Adaptive Pathways pilot programme.

Mr Howd was chief executive of Malin when the fund floated, but stepped aside for former Elan boss Kelly Martin in August.

Mr Howd said he is happy in his new role, adding: "It is the area with the most interest for me anyway, I'm looking to get the assets as far along as I can. If you look at our skillsets I think they [the new roles] are a natural fit."

Irish Independent

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