Gimv exits biotech company Ablynx and releases resources for new investments in the biotech sector
Gimv and Gimv-managed Biotech Fonds Vlaanderen sold their remaining stake in the Belgian biotech company Ablynx yesterday. This successful exit has a positive impact of EUR 3.8 million (0.15 EUR per share) on Gimv's last published equity value as per 30 June 2013. Over the entire period, this investment yielded a return that is in line with Gimv’s historical average. Ablynx was established in 2001 as a spin- off from VIB and the Free University of Brussels (VUB). During the initial phase, Gimv provided the seed capital for this highly innovative biopharmaceutical company. Ablynx is focused on the discovery and development of Nanobodies®, therapeutic proteins that can be used in the development of drugs for the treatment of a range of human diseases including inflammation, hematology, oncology and respiratory diseases. For 12 years, Gimv was a loyal partner for Ablynx. Gimv was not only one of the founders of the company, but also participated in almost all capital rounds, including the IPO in 2007 and the subsequent capital increase in 2010. The company could also count on Gimv for the development of an international syndicate of investors. This funding gave Ablynx a sound basis for its transformation into what it is today: a listed company with a market capitalization of approximately EUR 370 million, more than 25 programmes in the pipeline and six Nanobodies in clinical development. On top of this, there are ongoing research collaborations and significant partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies. The company is headquartered in Ghent, Belgium and currently employs 278 people. Patrick Van Beneden, biotech specialist within the Gimv Health & Care platform: "This exit fits nicely into Gimv’s strategy, in which value creation and growth stimulation in our companies are key, but where rotation within the portfolio is also important. This exit provides us with the means to engage in new long-term commitments to the biotech sector and to develop and grow the existing biotech portfolio. In the past year, Gimv invested for the first time in Complix and Agrosavfe and we participated in capital increases for Pronota, Multiplicom and Actogenix. Gimv, from its international platform strategy for Health & Care, and Biotech Fonds Vlaanderen clearly underline their ambition to remain the engine of innovation in and the further development of the Flemish biotech sector."