Glasgow-based venture capital firm Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) has signed an agreement to manage six life science investments owned by LDC, the UK mid-market private equity firm.
LDC has handed over responsibilty for the companies after deciding that they were outside its core competencies. Meanwhile, SEP will aim to exit the investments successfully in exchange for a share of the profits.
The LDC portfolio becomes the third external fund under management at SEP, which also manages two seed funds on behalf of some of Scotland's universities. The Synergy fund is a joint venture between the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde, focusing on early-stage technology projects within the two institutions. The NEStech fund combines the Universities of Dundee, Aberdeen and St Andrews, and concentrates on early-stage projects in biosciences.
A spokesperson for SEP said the agreement with LDC represented a strategic fit, with both firms having participated in a number of the same investments, including Cyclacel, the Dundee-based pharmaceuticals company which last week closed a $39 million (€31 million) Series D financing round.
The firm said the transaction was not part of a strategy to move further into commercial fund management. “As with Synergy and NESTech, the LDC portfolio shares a good strategic fit with our core investment activities with SEP 2 [the firm’s £100 million fund which closed in January 2001 and in which Lloyds TSB is an investor],” said a spokesperson.
In a related move, SEP has hired Jan Rutherford as part of the firm’s plans to step up its healthcare and life science activities. Rutherford joins from her previous role as vice president, life sciences at Dresdner Kleinwort Capital in London.
Prior to joining SEP, Rutherford spent three years with Dresdner Kleinwort Capital’s life science team in London, where she managed private equity investments in biotechnology and medical device companies in Europe and the US. Rutherford previously spent five years working in international clinical research across a range of therapeutic indications for Merck Sharp & Dohme and Sandoz/Novartis.