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Apollo Global Management, a US private equity giant with 513 billion dollars under management, has acquired a minority stake which, according to Corriere della Sera, would be around 20% of Sofinnova Partners, a leading European venture capital firm specializing in life sciences. Founded over 45 years ago, it is headquartered in Paris with presence throughout Europe, including London and Milan, the United States and China. Apollo has also pledged to invest up to one billion euros in Sofinnova’s funds (see the press release here).
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including authorization from the French Financial Markets Regulatory Authority (AMF) and is expected to close in the second half of 2022. Upon closing the contract, Neil Mehta, Partner and Global Head of Strategy of Apollo, will join the Sofinnova Board of Directors.
Triago acted as strategic advisor and Dechert LLP as legal advisor to Sofinnova. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Gide Loyrette Nouel were the legal advisers to Apollo and Guggenheim Partners the financial advisor.
For Apollo, the investment will significantly increase its presence in the life sciences and help expand its ecosystem of partners bringing specialized knowledge and networks to its integrated platform. For its part, Sofinnova, which will continue to operate from its Paris office as an independent company, aims to maximize this partnership to accelerate growth, also using access to Apollo’s global investment platform which includes credit, shares, real estate and other asset classes. business, as well as its extensive network and capital market experience.
Scott Kleinman, co-chairman of Apollo, said, “The life sciences industry continues to grow and innovate, creating significant opportunities to finance and advance new therapies and technologies in pursuit of the best health outcomes. Today Apollo and its affiliates manage over $ 5 billion in the healthcare and life sciences sectors and we see this space as a significant growth area for the company. We choose Sofinnova as a partner, for their specialized knowledge and extensive sectoral network expands our investment platform. We bring together our strengths and complementary cultures to form a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship”.
Antoine Papiernik, chairman and managing partner of Sofinnova Partners, added: “This partnership will enable Sofinnova to drive the growth of what it does best: finance innovation and build companies through long-term relationships with visionary entrepreneurs. We are ready to accelerate our strategy, consolidate our position as a global player and enhance our product offering to our investors, setting the stage for new levels of growth and expansion. We look forward to working with Apollo to build the next generation of revolutionary startups, while positively influencing the future through investments in healthcare and sustainability”.
Founded in 1972, Sofinnova Partners is a venture capital firm deeply rooted in Europe. With over 50 years of experience, it supports more than 500 companies and creates market leaders around the world. Today, Sofinnova Partners has more than 2.5 billion euros under management with a team of professionals from around the world who have proven medical, scientific and business development expertise.
Sofinnova has been active in Italy for 20 years, with more than 50 million euros invested in venture capital in companies in the biotech sector and has in turn raised the investment commitments of the Fondo Italiano d’Investimento sgr for the Sofinnova Capital Partners VII funds and VIII (see here a previous article by BeBeez). Moreover the Italian Graziano Seghezzi has been supporting Papiernik in the role of managing partner since May 2017 (see here a previous article by BeBeez). Among other things, Mr. Seghezzi is one of the co-founders of BiovelocITA, the first Italian accelerator dedicated to biotech companies (see here a previous article by BeBeez).
In Italy, in particular, the Sofinnova Telethon fund, launched in 2018, is active. It is a vehicle dedicated to early stage investments in companies dedicated to research on rare genetic diseases, which sees the Telethon Foundation, one of the best known charities in the field biomedical, as advisor. With a collection closed in April 2020 at 108 million euros (8 millions more than the original target, see here a previous article by BeBeez), the fund is co-led by Paola Pozzi and Lucia Faccio, both with a solid scientific background and with 17 years of teamwork behind him.
A few days ago, the fund announced a 3.5 million euro investment in NanoPhoria (see here a previous article by BeBeez), a preclinical-stage biotech company that is developing a versatile, non-viral platform for drug delivery based on nanoparticles. inorganic. Last July 2021, however, the fund had invested 6 million euros in the three Italian startups AAVantgarde Bio, Alia Therapeutics and Borea Therapeutics (see here a previous article by BeBeez). Also the Sofinnova Telethon fund in April 2020 had invested in Genespire, a Milanese company specializing in the development of advanced therapies for patients with genetic diseases; in Epsilen Bio, a Milanese company that is developing a technology to turn off the expression of genes related to specific diseases without irreversibly modifying DNA (an important potential safety advantage); and in PinCell, a pre-clinical Milanese biotech company focused on new therapies for rare dermatological diseases (see here a previous article by BeBeez).
In July 2020, moreover, Sofinnova had co-led the 28 million euro round of Enthera, a startup dedicated to the development of new therapeutic approaches for type 1 diabetes and gastrointestinal diseases (see here a previous article by BeBeez) a round that it was then expanded in 2021 to 35 million euros with the entry of additional investors (see here a previous article by BeBeez). Sofinnova had invested for the first time in Enthera in 2018 (see here a previous article by BeBeez). And again in 2018 Sofinnova led the 26.5 million euro round of Erydel, specializing in the administration of drugs delivered through the patient’s red blood cells (see here a previous article by BeBeez).