Wellington exits from Actelion

Munich-based venture capital specialist, Wellington Partners has sold its holding in Swiss bio-pharmaceutical company, Actelion, for CHF635 per share. Actelion floated on the Swiss SWX New Market last April when global stock markets were turbulent and despite this saw its

offer 19 times oversubscribed. The block of shares, with a total value of DM53.3 million, was placed with institutional investors through Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.

With the sale of the Actelion shares, Wellington Partners I Venture Capital Fund has realised its tenth exit in the space of three years. Wellington Partners first invested in Actelion in March 1999 when it committed DM2 million as part of an investment round with other co-investors. Other venture capital firms that invested in the company at various stages included 3i, Atlas Venture, Genevest, Sofinnova, TVM Techno and Venture Management.

Frank Bhnke, managing partner, said Wellington Partners would continue to support a company after it has gone public. He added that the firm stayed longer than usual with Actelion because there was huge potential in the company at the time of flotation. Commenting on the current market environment he said: “Although right now it is a little slow in terms of exits, the industry goes through cycles and things will pick up. We have a positive outlook for exits in the company’s portfolio with a few more in the pipeline over the next six to nine months.”

He stresses the fund’s particular focus is on strengthening start-ups over the long term and turning them into profitable, independent companies.

Wellington Partners II was launched in February 2000 with euro210 million for investment. Its portfolio already includes 17 investments, with a major share of the holdings coming from the information and technology sector.