The government-owned investment company Finnish Industry Investment Ltd (FII) has committed 10 million euros to a new international Life Sciences Partners IV fund. The fund will invest in growth companies in the human life sciences sector.
In its first closing the fund raised about 75 million euros and the target size is 150 million euros. Co-investors are European Investment Fund and a group of European and US institutional investor such as banks, pension funds and fund-of-funds. Most notably, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline selected LSP as their sole VC fund investment in Europe.
The new LSP IV fund is searching for promising target companies in Europe, especially in the Benelux countries, Germany, Switzerland and Finland. The aim is to make altogether 12-15 investments, size varying between approximately 5-8 million euros. The portfolio companies may be at their early-stage, growth stage or pre-IPO.
We have been actively screening what there is in the Finnish market for years and made a short list of about 20 potential target companies. At the moment, we are monitoring closely 3-4 of them and we expect investing in 1-2 companies during the next six months, says René Kuijten, Partner, Life Sciences Partners.
We see the Finnish market very similar with the Benelux countries: there are many small companies with good potential. Our role is to pick up the right ones and merge them together to create critical mass.
We want to be involved in helping these companies commercialise and internationalise. To succeed, companies need international skills and marketing teams with experts from different countries. We have a good overview of the healthcare sector´s success stories, so we can create added-value for their business development, continues Kuijten.
By investing in the LSP IV fund Finnish Industry Investment ensures that Life Sciences Partners focused on the life sciences sector and already actively involved in the Finnish market continues analysing the Finnish deal-flow, and thus makes it possible for the best projects to find their way to the international financing, comments Riitta Jääskeläinen, Investment Director, Finnish Industry Investment Ltd.
Furthermore, by doing this FII also makes good use of LSP´s valuable life sciences expertise in our own investment projects.
Industry Investment has made a commitment to LSP´s earlier fund, too. Its first investment was made last year to a Helsinki-based company Nexstim Ltd, which develops ground-breaking technology for brain diagnosis and therapy. During one year, LSP also had a Finnish partner exploring the Finnish biomarket and introduced LSP to the Finnish companies.
Life Sciences Partners (LSP) is a leading independent European venture capital firm, providing private equity financing to early- to mid-stage life-science companies. Since the late 1980s, LSP's management has invested in a large number of highly innovative enterprises, many of which have grown to become leaders of the global life-science industry. For example, LSP was a founding investor in Crucell, DNage, Qiagen, Rhein Biotech and Pharming. With EUR 500 million under management and offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston, LSP is one of Europe's largest and most experienced specialist life-science investors. www.lspvc.com
Finnish Industry Investment Ltd (FII) is a government-owned investment company. The company invests the proceeds accrued from the privatisation of state-owned companies in promoting the growth and internationalisation of Finnish businesses. FII invests in growth companies directly and through venture capital funds, together with private co-investors. FIIs portfolio companies operate in all sectors. Capital investments are needed for financing the growth of portfolio companies, and for spin-offs, major industrial investments, and sector and corporate restructurings. FIIs investments amount to some MEUR 470. www.industryinvestment.com
- René Kuijten, Partner, Life Sciences Partners,
tel. +31 (0) 20 664 5500, rkuijten (at) lspvc.com
- Riitta Jääskeläinen, Finnish Industry Investment Ltd,
mobile +358 50 309 2733, riitta.jaaskelainen (at) industryinvestment.com