Business Irish

Wednesday 16 October 2019

US investment firm buys Woodford share of Malin

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Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Pentwater Capital Management, a US private investment company, has purchased Neil Woodford firm's stake in State-backed life science investor Malin.

The company purchased the shares at an average price of €3.10, a "deep discount" to what it regards as Malin's "conservative intrinsic value" of €7.90 per share.

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Pentwater has been a shareholder of Malin for nearly two years, however it increased its interest by approximately 23pc in recent weeks, buying up the embattled Woodford Investment Management portion.

Pentwater is also an investor in Poseida Therapeutics - a company focused on finding cures for cancer and other diseases - in which Malin has a 25pc share.

In April Poseida raised $142m (€126m) in a Series C financing round.

That funding was led by a $75m equity investment from Novartis Pharma.

Liberum, which is Malin's corporate broker in the UK, estimates that Malin's investment in Poseida is worth around €144m.

"We think this [Malin] stake could be worth 2-3 times more with trial data due in mid-2020," Alistair Campbell, analyst at Liberum, said in August.

Additionally, Pentwater is an investor in other healthcare companies including Autolus, Spark Therapeutics and Esperion Therapeutics.

This investment in Malin is held through various counterparties.

Other major shareholders in Malin include the State's Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (Isif).

Liam Daniel, chairman of Malin, said the group welcomed Pentwater as significant stakeholders.

"Our assets are progressing, with several significant near-term milestones which I believe can be the catalysts to significant value creation for all our shareholders," he said.

Releasing interim results last month, Malin said the aggregate fair value of its interests in its investee companies was €385m.

The group had cash of €31m as at June 30.

In September Malin appointed Darragh Lyons as its new chief executive, replacing Adrian Howd, who left the company in October 2018.

Mr Lyons had been serving as chief business and financial officer at the company.

Shares in Malin were up 5pc in early trading yesterday, while its market capitalisation was €192m.

Irish Independent

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