3i and SEB Företagsinvest divest stakes in SBL Vaccines in sale to Crucell

21 Nov 2006

3i, world leading venture capital and private equity company, SEB Företagsinvest, a leading Nordic venture capitalist and other shareholders are divesting their stakes in SBL Vaccines, leading vaccine distributor in Sweden, in a sale to NASDAQ listed Dutch biotechnology company Crucell (CRXL). The sale price is €39.4 million, excluding deferred payments and future royalties. It is expected that the transaction will be completed on November 23, 2006.

SBL Vaccines is a Swedish company, specialising in the development, manufacture and marketing of vaccines and niche pharmaceuticals. SBL Vaccines’ core product Dukoral® is an orally administered drug that protects against cholera and ETEC, causing what is commonly known as travellers’ diarrhoea. Dukoral® is licensed and available in more than 50 countries worldwide. Sales exceeded €14.7m in 2005, representing a dramatic increase of over 60% since 2004. Apart from Dukoral® SBL Vaccines markets and sells vaccines, produced by big international companies, in the Nordic market. The company’s total turnover 2005 was €38 million.

Thomas Pollare, Partner, 3i Nordic, said:”We’re proud to have worked together with CEO Björn Sjöstrand, EVP Mats Lidgard and other management to help transform SBL Vaccines from a loss-making company to the successful profitable business it is today. Showing progress well ahead of plan, now is the right time for SBL Vaccines to further grow its Dukoral business under the leadership of Crucell, a strong international and marketing organisation and an excellent fit for SBL Vaccines’ strategy going forward.”

Björn Sjöstrand, Managing Director, SBL Vaccines, commented:” Behind SBL Vaccine’s transformation is not only the extensive restructuring of the business but above all strong growth in sales of Dukoral, the oral travel vaccine. Through the merger with Crucell, the company achieves great potential for further growth. We are very happy of the support we have got from 3i and SEB Företagsinvest, in the form of experience and capital. This has helped us to become a profitable and forward looking company.”

Jonas Nyman, Senior Investment Manager, SEB Företagsinvest, said: ”SBL Vaccines is today a leading Nordic vaccines company and a strong brand in the vaccine industry. Through Crucell, SBL gets access to Crucell’s global sales and marketing organisation, which means improved opportunities for SBL Vaccines to market Dukoral® outside of the Nordic region.

Notes to editors

For further information, please contact: 
Thomas Pollare, Partner, 3i Nordic plc (UK), advisor to 3i Group plc: 
Tel.  +46 8 506 101 65, Mobile  +46 708 10 79 29

Jonas Nyman, Senior Investment Manager, SEB Företagsinvest:
Tel.  +46 8 763 79 05, Mobile  +46 702 65 79 05

Björn Sjöstrand, Managing Director, SBL Vaccin: 
Tel. +46 735 14 40,  +46 709 10 58 09

About 3i Group 
3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital.  We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital and Venture Capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and in Asia.  Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business.  These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders. www.3i.com

About SEB Företagsinvest  
SEB Företagsinvest is the venture capital arm of SEB. SEB Företagsinvest invests venture capital and adds competence to and provides a network for companies with substantial growth potential. The focus is on Technology and Life Science. www.seb.se/foretagsinvest

About SBL Vaccines
SBL Vaccines is a privately owned Swedish company, specialising in the development, manufacture and marketing of vaccines and niche pharmaceuticals. The primary research focus is the field of diarrhoeal diseases.

In the Nordic region, SBL Vaccines markets a complete vaccine portfolio sourced from global vaccine companies. www.sblvaccines.com