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3i successfully divests Swedish pharma company NeoPharma

Solvay Pharmaceuticals has made a cash offer for Swedish pharmaceutical company NeoPharma. The bid values NeoPharma at approximately SEK 640 million (€71.4 million).

Kompanjonfond, the fund managed by 3i Nordic''s venture capital team, has invested SEK 34.8 million in the company over five years. The fund has a 21.6% (fully diluted) holding in NeoPharma and will realise a value of SEK 140 million (€16 million) and an IRR of 40%.

NeoPharma has developed Duodopa for the treatment of advanced Parkinson''s Disease. The product has its origin in work carried out by researchers and clinicians at the Uppsala University and the Uppsala University Hospital. Financed by venture capitalists, including 3i, the company has developed the invention to an approved pharmaceutical product. Duodopa has received marketing authorisation in Sweden and successfully completed the so-called mutual recognition procedure with regard to Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain and Portugal. NeoPharma will record a profit for the fiscal year 2004.

Thomas Pollare, 3i Nordic advisors to 3i Group plc, said: "NeoPharma is a unique company in the sense that it is one of few privately financed Swedish companies that, on its own, has developed a pharmaceutical product until regulatory approval. 3i has been involved in shaping development strategy of Duodopa and has brought in different experts. 3i also helped in recruiting of CEO Ulf Rosen and Chief medical officer Tommy Lewander."

Financial advisors to NeoPharma and the Sellers were Hjalmarsson & Gunteberg Corporate Finance AB. Legal Advisors were Lindhs DLA Nordic to 3i and Vinge to the company and the Sellers. 

Notes to editors

About 3i

3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital. We focus on buy-outs, growth capital and venture capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and in Asia Pacific. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business. It underpins the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.

3i''s buy-out business concentrates on the mid and smaller buy-out markets in Europe and Asia Pacific. In the year to 31 March 2004 3i invested £492m. Our growth capital business invests in high growth companies expanding organically or through acquisition. In the year to 31 March 2004, 3i invested £313m. 3i''s venture capital business invested £174m in the year to 31 March 2004 in early stage technology companies.

3i has an unparalleled record of successful investments in the healthcare sector and our current portfolio encompasses more than 100 companies. Some of its most recent and profitable successful investments include: German pharmaceutical company Betapharm which received €300m and UK/US based Microsulis, a medical research company, which raised $45m of funding in Spring 2004 as well as Castlebeck Care in the UK, which was sold to HG Capital in 2002. 

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