Deal Round-up 31/01/02

ML Laboratories takes £5m funding; Gendel secures £1.8m third round investment; Gresham Trust invests £16m into 1st Credit.

ML Laboratories takes £5m funding

Flagging biotechnology firm ML Laboratories has secured an additional £5m funding from US group Paul Capital, the firm has already invested £17.5m into ML, which reported a pre-tax loss after net interest costs in the year to September 30 of £4m, down from £11.8m a year earlier

In return for its cash injection, Paul Capital will receive a proportion of royalties and sales from two of the three products it has already sponsored.

Gendel secures £1.8m third round investment

Northern Ireland-based Gendel has secured £1.8m in third round funding from a group of investors led by Edinburgh-based venture capital firm Scottish Equity Partners. Belfast-based Crescent Capital has re-invested and other new investors include Enterprise Equity, a Northern Ireland investment company, and PVJ, a Danish pension fund.

Gendel will use the funding to develop its process that permits the controlled delivery of drugs using red blood cells. The process can also be applied to the treatment of vascular diseases and cancer. Founded in 1998, Gendel secured £900,000 in first round funding from management, London-based 3i and the Industrial Research and Technology Unit. The start-up closed a second round of funding in 2000 from 3i, Crescent Capital and Enterprise Equity.

Gresham Trust invests £16m into 1st Credit  

Gresham Trust, the UK private equity house, has led a £16m round of funding into 1st Credit, a debt purchase and collection agency. Gresham has committed £5m, with a further facility provided by Barclays.

Gresham Trust is part of the Zurich Financial Services Group investing from its own balance sheet and from Zurich resources. It targets buy-outs, buy-ins, expansion and acquisition finance deals in UK middle market firms.