Arakis, a venture backed UK biopharmaceutical company, has been bought by Japanese biopharma group Sosei for £106.5m. Arakis was founded in 2000, and in August of that year Merlin BioSciences Fund II and MB Venture Capital Fund I NV invested £2m each in a series A funding round. Two years later a £16m second round led by Nomura closed, with co-investment from 3i, Merlin Biosciences and MB Venture Capital Fund I NV.
A third round in 2004 ended up on £29m, and was led by Novo A/S and Scottish Equity Partners. Co-investors included Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, the 3i Bioscience Investment Trust, the Finsbury Life Sciences Investment Trust and Close Finsbury Eurotech Trust, as well as the existing investors: Nomura Phase4 Ventures, 3i Group, the Merlin BioSciences Fund LP and MB Venture Capital Fund I NV.
There were reports circulating in April that Arakis was to be floated, and that Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein has been mandated to carry it out, but it was decided that a trade sale would be the better option.
Sosei is a 25-year old Japanese biopharmaceutical company, and has bought Arakis to boost its European coverage.