Date Posted:


Acquisition and Admission to AIM by Venn Life Sciences Holdings plc

7th November 2012

Zeus Capital, the London and Manchester based corporate finance advisory firm, has acted as NOMAD and broker on the reverse acquisition of Venn Life Sciences Holdings Plc (“Venn” or “the Company”), £3m fund raising and admission to AIM.

The deal brings together a management team with a track record of acquiring, integrating and growing businesses in the life sciences sector. Tony Richardson (CEO) co-founded Alltracel Pharmaceuticals Plc, which was sold for $40m. David Evans (Chairman) was chairman of AIM listed BBI Holdings Plc, which grew from a value of £4m to £84m, and is currently chairman of listed diagnostics companies Epistem Holdings Plc and EKF Diagnostics Holdings Plc. Paul Foulger (Finance Director) and Adam Reynolds (Non Executive Director) will also be members of the Board, both of whom have considerable public company, acquisition and merger experience.

Venn is a contract research organisation (CRO) that provides clinical trial management and performance services to drug and medical device developers as well as operating a clinical trial resourcing business. Venn primarily focuses on phase II-IV clinical trials. Phase II and III studies are pre-approval studies, and form the basis of the submission to the relevant regulatory authorities for approval, whilst phase IV studies are post approval and are typically structured to help position the product in the marketplace. Currently Venn provides services in a broad range of therapeutic areas, with a concentration
of clinical experience in the principal disease areas of cardiology, neurology and oncology, as well as in the field of medical devices. Venn has principally evolved through the acquisition and integration of small European based CROs.

In March 2010, Venn acquired a Netherlands-based CRO, providing a range of services to biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients. In September 2010, Venn completed the acquisition of a Paris-based CRO, including a resourcing and staffing operation. These acquisitions provided the platform for further growth.

The Company’s main activities are in the Netherlands, with further operations in Ireland, France and Switzerland. Its objective is to expand its European footprint through strategic acquisition, with the aim of creating a mid-sized, pan-European CRO capable of delivering large cross border clinical trials whilst retaining the high level of customer service normally associated with a small company.

The Deal Team comprised of Ross Andrews, Andrew Jones and Jamie Peel, with John Goold heading the fund raising with Alex Davies.

Ross Andrews, Director, commented:
“We are delighted to have advised on the reverse takeover of Venn, its move from ISDX to AIM and its fund raising. The fund raising process was oversubscribed, clearly demonstrating that Venn is an exciting company with a strong management team.”