Life Sciences & Healthcare Newsletters

Kempen & Co European Life Sciences ECM update 

  • Monthly update on Equity Capital Markets of European Life Sciences companies.
  • Provides insights on market developments, financing transactions, share price developments and other relevant insights in the field of ECM.
  • Example analysis from the November 2020 ECM update below.

Median pre-commitments in life sciences IPOs of European companies

  • Median value of pre-commitments in IPOs of European life sciences companies from 2015 – 2020YTD generally ranges from 30% - 50%
  • Slightly higher level of pre-commitments for US listed companies compared to European listed companies
  • Relative spikes in US IPOs in years of higher volatility (2016, 2018, 2020), requiring additional de-risking of transactions
  • Pre-commitments are seen as a must-have for development stage companies to go public
  • Since 2015, Kempen & Co has been involved in the IPOs of Biocartis, Kiadis Pharma, Sequana Medical, Hyloris Pharmaceuticals, argenx (secondary listing), HOOKIPA Pharma, Genmab (secondary listing), BioNTech, CureVac and Galecto

NOTE: EU listing excludes eastern European companies; Only includes IPOs for which pre-commitments were publicly disclosed (measured at launch)
Source: Dealogic and Kempen & Co analyses; data per 31 Oct 2020

Kempen & Co European Life Sciences M&A update - September 2020

Are lower M&A premiums reflective of a buyer’s market?


Total deal value versus number of pending deals



  • Buyers are increasingly careful in terms of acquisition premiums, reflected in a median 1-day bid premium down from 81% in H1 2018 to 31% YTD. Prices might be down, but buyers have remained active in life sciences, with 100 deals in 2020YTD compared to 96 in H2 2019. Especially July and August have been hot, with the number of deals increasing 36% compared to May and June
  • Even in a buyer’s market high-quality companies continue to go for top dollar, with Nestle’s acquisition of US-based Aimunne boasting a bid premium of 174%, the highest in a life sciences M&A deal involving a European target/bidder since mid-2018
  • On a similar note, investors remain patient in their wait for higher premiums, with Thermo Fisher’s bid for Qiagen being rejected by investors, even after an increase in the purchase price, up from EUR 39 per share (20% 1-day bid premium) to EUR 43 per share (35% 1-day bid premium)


Note: Includes transactions involving a European target, a European acquirer, or both; €25m minimum disclosed deal value; completion occurred after the announcement date; between 1 Jan 2018 and 31 Aug 2020. Sources: Company's press releases, Bloomberg, Mergermarket, and Kempen & Co analysis 




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