Monday 22 January 2018

Irish investment firm Malin confirms €70m EIB debt fund

Former Elan chief executive Kelly Martin, who heads up Malin
Former Elan chief executive Kelly Martin, who heads up Malin
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Irish life sciences investment company Malin has secured a €70m debt facility from the European Investment Bank.

The seven-year facility will be used by Malin, a stock market-listed company headed by former Elan chief executive Kelly Martin, to make additional investments.

The Irish Independent first revealed in March that Malin was seeking to raise the €70m in debt from the European Investment Bank (EIB), as it puts together a €300m fund to invest in other life sciences targets.

The EIB debt will be disbursed to Malin in up to five tranches. The company said it would draw down the first tranche "in the near term".

Malin is just over a year old and has so far raised €380m in equity. It has invested about €300m of capital.

Over 60pc of its investments have been made in the UK and Ireland.

One of the company's biggest shareholders is the State-owned Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, which at the end of March had a 12.7pc stake in Malin. Other high-profile investors in Malin include UK-based financial guru Neil Woodford, who's also a previous investor in Elan.

Securing the additional debt from the European Investment Bank adds significantly to Malin's war chest.

Mr Martin said the EIB facility is "further external validation" of Malin's business model.

"The alignment of long duration capital with substantial and demonstrated operating expertise around a broad array of life science assets provides a unique opportunity to create and unlock value," he said.

He added that the EIB debt provides Malin with "non-dilutive capital" that can be deployed to accelerate the progression of current and prospective investee companies.

EIB vice president Jonathan Taylor said that the deal with Malin is the bank's first support of life science investment in Ireland.

Malin has invested in 16 companies so far. Of those, the majority are in the United States, where it has invested in seven firms.

It has invested in five companies in Ireland, two of which are sister firms, and two in the UK.

In Ireland, it has invested in companies including 3D4Medical, a company that has developed award-winning medical apps that are used to train doctors in the close study of human anatomy, for instance. It also develops apps that are used for health and fitness, as well as others that can be used by patients who are undergoing rehabilitation. Earlier this month, 3D4Medical won a coveted Apple Design Award for its flagship application.

The single biggest investment made by Malin to date was the €73m it injected into UK-based Immunocore last year, in what was Europe's largest ever series A fundraising of a life sciences firm. Immunocore develops cancer treatments.

Malin has previously committed to investing €150m in Irish companies, and said that 10 of those firms will employ at least a total of 200 people over the next five years.

Irish Independent

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