Deal round up 25/09/02

Bank of Scotland backs Alliance acquisitions; German VCs back biotech first round; Quester invests in Workshare Technology

Bank of Scotland backs Alliance acquisitions

Bank of Scotland’s Integrated Finance team has provided a combined debt and equity funding package of £14.6m to UK pharmaceuticals business Alliance Pharmaceuticals. Alliance will use the financing to purchase three branded prescription drugs: Nu-Seals Aspirin and dermatology applications Alphaderm and Aquadrate.

Chippenhambased Alliance Pharmaceuticals is a speciality pharmaceutical company which seeks to obtain licensing rights for established brands. Alliance commenced trading in 1998 and with its latest acquisitions will now have a turnover of £10m. These latest acquisitions bring Alliance’s total portfolio of products to 23.

German VCs back biotech first round

Deutsche Venture Capital (DVC) and Mediport Venture have backed the first round financing of Avontec, a Gottingen-based biotechnology business. Co-investors in the E5.5m round include Innovations-Capital Göttingen and the private equity arm of Sparkasse.

Avontec develops molecular-biological agents which are used for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. The firm was founded in 2001 and plans to commence phase I clinical trials at the end of 2003.

Quester invests in Workshare Technology

UK venture capital firm Quester has invested £2.9m in Workshare Technology, a UK-based developer of document content collaboration software. The investment will enable Workshare, which currently employs 140 people across its offices in London, New York, San Francisco and Cape Town, to expand into new geographical areas and markets.

Workshare’s software is used by over 400,000 users worldwide. Clients include British Gas, KPMG and the Olympic Games 2004. Workshare has previously funded its growth out of company profits. Last year the company reported turnover of £10.5m, with pre-tax profits of £1m.