Malin plots IPOs for portfolio companies over next 12 months

Malin is looking for near-term paydays in its portfolio. The plan is to start delivering a return to the shareholders who helped it amass a €372 million ($415 million) investment war chest by taking some of the businesses it has backed public.

Malin CEO Kelly Martin

Dublin, Ireland-based Malin has some of the hottest stories in biotech in its portfolio, as well as some lesser-known companies. The Kelly Martin-helmed investment vehicle got started by joining with Neil Woodford and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to funnel $90 million into the bank account of Kymab, before going on to contribute €73 million to Immunocore's mammoth fundraising round. At this stage it is unclear which of the portfolio companies Malin envisages cashing out of in the coming year, but it has been transparent about its desire to turn a quick buck.

"We will be looking at finding ways to deliver value to shareholder at inflection points--we would be looking at the next 12 months--possibly via IPOs. Selling off parts of the companies would be less likely," Malin Chairman John Given told the Irish Independent. Before that can happen, Malin needs to help to get the companies to the point at which they look attractive to other investors. "Until the market can put a price on something, which tends to be through a partial float or third party transactions, the market doesn't see the underlying value of the asset," Given said.

Malin has talked up its ability to accelerate this process in its pitch to investors and portfolio firms. Kelly Martin took charge of the business in August, putting an ex-Elan executive in the hot seat of a company already closely affiliated with the drugmaker. Martin is one of more than a handful of executives and directors at Malin with ties to Elan. Chairman Given was general counsel, CFO Darragh Lyons was head of finance at chief investment officer Adrian Howd--who led Malin before Martin took over--covered Elan as an analyst at Berenberg Bank.

The idea is that by tapping into this gathering of experience and skills, Malin's portfolio companies can accelerate their progress. So far, Malin has showed its ability to identify a diverse range of high-profile and lesser-known companies in which to invest. The challenge now is to bring these businesses to the point at which they deliver a payday for Malin, something that could start to happen over the coming year.

- read the Irish Independent article
- and Malin's report (PDF)