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 May 2021 ECM update below.

Life sciences and healthcare transactions in the Nordics continue to rise

  • The total number of life sciences and healthcare transactions in the Nordics continues its steady rise and has become the most active transaction region in Europe with 86 transactions during 2020. During the first 4 months of 2021 this trend continued with 30 transactions already executed
  • The strong outperformance in the Nordics is thanks to over 250 listed life sciences and healthcare companies over the different stock exchanges in Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo and Stockholm, as well as the reputation as one of the most innovative regions globally
  • As the market has become increasingly hot over the past years, this has also led to more international specialist investors deploying more funds in this market, e.g. Redmile who became the largest shareholder in Swedish BioInvent after their SEK 962m directed issue during Q1 2021. Other examples include Oncopeptides (SEK 1.11bn), Cantargia (SEK 564m), Implantica (SEK 600m) among others receiving investments from international specialist investors in their most recent directed issues
  • Despite being home to many smaller companies on the First North and other growth indexes, the region has also seen the average deal size overtaking other regions, showing an average deal size over the period of 2017 to 2021YTD of €31m in the Nordics, €21m in the Benelux/Paris and €29m on other European exchanges
  • Furthermore, between 2017 and 2019 we saw the region catching up from in terms of total deal value amounting to €3.8bn in the Nordics vs €2.3bn for Benelux/Paris and €7.1bn for the other European exchanges combined. During 2020 and 2021YTD this trend has continued as well with total deal volume amounting to €4.5bn in the Nordics vs the Benelux/Paris (€0.8bn) and other European exchanges (€5.0bn) 

NOTE: Include all equity capital market transactions on regulated and nonregulated exchanges; Nordics include exchanges in Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo and Stockholm; Transactions >€1bn are excluded
Source: Dealogic, Kempen & Co analysis as per 28 April 2021


Biotech bids premiums on the rise; Where does it end?

Median 30-day bid-premium per subsector (2012-2021YTD)? 

ECM May 2021


  • Within European life sciences, biotech companies command the highest bid premium of all sectors (70%) followed by generics (51%) and speciality pharma (49%) in second and third place, respectively. 

  • Over time Biotech companies have become more expensive to acquire, from 2012 to 2015 the median 30-day bid premium was 38%, which increased to a massive 96% from 2019 to 2021YTD. The record numbers of 2019-2021YTD is primarily driven by pre-pandemic deals in 2019 where the median 30-day bid premium was 168% compared to 67% for the 5 public European biotech deals announced after the pandemic arrived on European shores.

  • There has not yet been any European-linked public biotech acquisition in 2021, the latest was Sanofi’s acquisition of Kiadis in November 2020 at a 30-day bid premium of 253%. This may be caused by the state of the equity capital markets in 2021, particularly the ease at which capital could be raised. This left sellers with limited incentive to settle for anything but gilded terms as they could easily turn to the capital markets for funding, which may have delayed deal-making due to fierce negotiations. Conversely, rising inflation fears may put some of the negation power back in the hands of buyers going forward. The question is how this will affect biotech premiums; if the markets continue to struggle bid premiums will likely decrease as funding in the equity capital markets becomes harder to come by.

  • Looking beyond biotech, the largest 30-day bid premium offered for a life sciences company in 2021 so far has been Jazz Pharmaceutical’s acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals at a 30-day bid premium of 61%, which is 12% higher than the median bid premium for a speciality pharma. 


NOTE: Includes transactions involving a European target, a European acquirer, or both; €25m minimum disclosed deal value; between 1 January 2012 and 30 April 2021.


Source: Company press releases, Bloomberg, Mergermarket, Kempen & Co analysis Sources: Company's press releases, Bloomberg, Mergermarket, and Kempen & Co analysis

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