Merlin Biosciences has reached a first close on its third fund, Merlin Biosciences Fund III at EURO93 million and has since received additional firm commitments bringing the total to date in excess of EURO125 million. The Merlin team began fund raising at the start of the year and anticipates a final close of EURO250 million early next year.
WestLB, a cornerstone investor in Merlin’s previous funds, will cornerstone again with a commitment of EURO30 million. Other former backers to Merlin’s fund include The European Investment Fund, Gartmore Group and Westport Private Equity. Merlin has also welcomed first time commitments from leading international groups, most notably from Asia such as NIF Ventures and Marubeni of Japan, as well as MAVCAP of Malaysia.
Professor Sir Christopher Evans, founder and chairman of Merlin Biosciences, said: “I am delighted to note that the cornerstone investors from our first and second fund have chosen once again to provide the foundation of the fund this in itself is a strong endorsement of the Merlin team, its industry experience, track record and hands-on approach to building the best European biotechnology companies.”
The fund will invest in companies that develop human healthcare products or in technologies that support their development. Merlin’s strategy is to lead the initial investment and then to participate in follow-on rounds to build and protect value. In total, the fund will invest between EURO10 million and EURO18 million per investee company.
Merlin supports companies in all stages of their development from early stage through to pre-IPO and post flotation and has an extensive network of advisers and experienced strategic partners. The firm advises four funds that encompass this spectrum of development The Merlin Biosciences Fund III, The Merlin Biosciences Fund, The Merlin Fund and the Finsbury Life Sciences Investment Trust.