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UK investors in merge talks

Two of the largest biotechnology investment groups in the UK are negotiating a merger. Biotechnology Investments Limited (BIL; London) and International Biotechnology Trust (IBT; London)—both divisions of Rothschilds (London)—are looking to broaden their investment portfolios by merging—something Jeremy Curnock Cook, a director at IBT, thinks will benefit shareholders in both groups. The merger has been prompted in part by the increasing size of biotechnology companies attracting investments from both IBT and BIL. BIL was set up in 1981 to invest in start-up companies whereas IBT's goal was to raise and invest $80 million in 20 mid-stage companies during the 1990s. But as the biotechnology sector has developed, some of BIL's companies have moved into IBT's area of investment, making a merger more logical. Curnock Cook explains that the new entity will have over 100 investments, from startups to mid-stage companies, and will include biotechnology, medical devices, and healthcare-related computer software firms. The new group will also look at investing in late stage and consolidated firms—something that neither BIL nor IBT do at the moment. According to Curnock Cook, one of the main advantages of the merged group will be increased analyst coverage, which will enhance the visibility of even the smallest companies in the portfolio.

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Michael, A. UK investors in merge talks. Nat Biotechnol 17, 8 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1038/5347

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