Forbion strengthens investor base(2)

Secondaries specialist Coller Capital, the principal backer of Forbion Capital Partners’ spin-out from ABN AMRO Capital, has moved to diversify the firm’s investor base by selling part of its stake to seven leading private equity investor groups.

Forbion Capital Partners, the former life sciences arm of ABN AMRO Capital, has brought in another tranche of top tier investors, just five months after spinning out from its parent.

Forbion was previously known as ABN AMRO Capital Life Sciences before spinning out as an independent entity in December, with a €200 million ($271 million)buyout fund. Secondaries specialist Coller Capital was the principal backer of the spin-out, taking a 75 percent stake.

At the time chief executive Jeremy Coller described Forbion as “one of the leading life sciences groups in Europe.”

Coller has since been syndicating an undisclosed portion of its stake, as it looked to diversify the firm’s investor base. It has been able to bring on board seven new equity investors: HarbourVest, Partners Group, Hamilton Lane, Pomona Capital, Van Herk Investments, Von Braun & Schreiber Private Equity Partners and Indofin Group.

The secondaries firm said demand was so great that it could have syndicated the stake more than three times over.

Forbion managing partner Bart Bergstein said the strengthened limited partner group showed the group was looking to the future as well as the present. “This not only validates the quality of our team and the prospects of the current portfolio, but also creates a strong investor base for future funds,” he said.

Forbion’s €200 million fund, which will exclusively back companies in the life sciences sector, is its first as an independent entity, although the Forbion management team backed more than 30 companies in Europe and the US while operating as a captive. 26 of these investments were rolled into Forbion’s debut fund, with a total value of about €90 million.

The firm looks to make initial investments of €3 to €7 million, although it will usually provide follow-on investments in later funding rounds.

However ABN AMRO, which retains a 25 percent holding in Forbion, may well have other things on its mind this week. The Dutch bank is currently at the centre of a fiercely-contested bidding war between Barclays and a consortium led by the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is expected to reach its climax in the coming days.