Friday 15 December 2017

Malin Corp to tap EIB for €300m war chest

Malin boss Kelly Martin
Malin boss Kelly Martin
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Irish med-tech investor Malin Corporation is seeking outside support as it puts together a €300m fund to invest in research and development (R&D) focused life sciences start-ups, the Irish Independent has learned.

According to papers filed as part of an application to the European Investment Bank (EIB), Malin is promoting the project which aims to finance investment into innovative R&D intensive early stage companies.

The EIB can invest in a variety of projects across the European Union but typically matches funds raised in the private sector.

According to a filing on the EIB's website, €70m of the €300m targeted by Malin is being sought from the EU's Luxembourg-based bank.

"The project supports the growth phase of innovative technology small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by ensuring their ability to fund their development programme," according to the note.

Malin itself declined to comment further when contacted by the Irish Independent.

Irish stock market-listed Malin was set up by a number of former executives of Irish drugmaker Elan, including former chief executive Kelly Martin, to act as a startup incubator to develop life science companies.

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

Among the investors in the company is the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, which has a near 13pc stake and is the second biggest single investor.

That reflects the commitment from Malin to create 200 jobs and invest €150m in Irish companies.

It has also pledged that ten of the companies in which it invests will employ at least 200 people in Ireland on a full-time basis over the next five years.

Besides the ISIF, Malin also has many other high profile investors including billionaires and wealth funds.

One of the most prominent investors is UK financial guru Neil Woodford, who previously ran one of the largest funds in Britain and is the largest stakeholder in the company.

Mr Woodford was also previously an investor in Elan.

Malin has taken stakes in more than a dozen companies since it was formed, including acne drug group Novan and African speciality pharma group Serenus.

One of Malin's largest investments is a €73m punt on UK biotech firm Immunocore, which is focused on cancer treatments.

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