View from Dublin: watch­ing what Mul­li­gan does

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY RICHARD CUR­RAN

SEA­MUS Mul­li­gan must now be the hottest in­vest­ment prop­erty in pharma. The Water­ford-born for­mer Elan ex­ec­u­tive has co-founded two pharma busi­nesses in the last 13 years. After seven years the first sold for $500m and then six years after start-up, the sec­ond has just sold for $735m.

Mul­li­gan and his co-founders at Adapt Pharma have sur­prised many with the scale and speed with which they built a busi­ness that is be­ing bought for a val­u­a­tion of close to three-quar­ters of a bil­lion dol­lars.

Mul­li­gan owns around 75% of the busi­ness, which he took a punt on just six years ago, and he stands to re­ceive $550m if per­for­mance tar­gets are met. His ini­tial cash re­ceipt for his shares is a mas­sive $431m.

Adapt has de­vel­oped a spray treat­ment which can be ap­plied in over­dose cases of opi­oids, such as hero­ine, fen­tanyl or pre­scrip­tion opioid-based painkillers.

The buyer, Emer­gent Bioso­lu­tions, is re­ally bet­ting big with this ac­qui­si­tion. Emer­gent’s mar­ket cap is just $3.1bn and it ex­pects to make about $100m in prof­its this year. So fork­ing out this kind of money, in­clud­ing $575m in cash up front, is not ex­actly small change for the buyer.

Emer­gent spe­cialises in medicines and de­vice to tackle all kinds of emer­gen­cies with half of its sales com­ing from a range of vac­cine, cap­sule and in­tra­venous prod­ucts it has for An­thrax.

Com­pa­nies Regis­tra­tion Of­fice fil­ings show that as of Septem­ber 2017, Adapt has as­sets on its bal­ance sheet of $114.9m and li­a­bil­i­ties of just $200,000.

Mul­li­gan of course has done this be­fore hav­ing bagged hun­dreds of mil­lions in an all-share deal when he sold Azur Pharma in an all-share deal to Jazz Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals in 2012. Back then he went on to sell off $86m of his Jazz Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals shares to in­vest in Adapt. This was an enor­mous in­vest­ment punt to take and it has now paid off in spades.

He has re­tained 1.06m shares in Jazz which are cur­rently val­ued at a fur­ther $182m.

Pharma pri­vate equity in­vestors will be fall­ing over them­selves to try and fol­low Mul­li­gan in what­ever he gets into next.

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