Ropes & Gray Advises on Three Healthcare Deals in a Week

In The News
June 2, 2020

Ropes & Gray has advised on three healthcare deals that have announced over the past seven days, underlining the firm’s deep healthcare and life sciences expertise.  The three deals were: 

  • Advising Avista Capital Partners on its EUR 305m joint acquisition of Vision Healthcare

Ropes & Gray advised Avista Capital Partners – a leading New York-based private equity firm – on its joint acquisition with VHC Investco of Vision Healthcare, one of Europe’s fastest-growing omni-channel and direct-to-consumer healthcare companies. The deal, which announced on 29 May, values Vision at an aggregate value of EUR 305 million, inclusive of contingent payments.  

Vision Consumer Health is a Belgium-based consumer healthcare platform with sales and operations across continental Europe. The company has the ambition to become a leading global omni-channel consumer healthcare platform, with a unique digitized D2C approach. Founded in 2017, Vision has grown rapidly into a company today with over c. EUR 135m of sales, through a combination of a successful buy-and-build strategy and strong organic growth in its direct-to-consumer businesses. 

The Ropes & Gray team was led by private equity transactions partner Helen Croke, based in London. Other members of the team included finance partner Alex Robb, antitrust partner Ruchit Patel and tax partner Brenda Coleman, alongside private equity associates Laura Kayani and Eamon Gallagher, antitrust associate Vincenzo Volpe and tax counsel Chris Agnoli. All are based in the firm’s London office. 

  • Advising NeoGenomics in its collaboration with Inivata to commercialise lung liquid biopsy test

Ropes & Gray advised NeoGenomics Inc, a leader in liquid biopsy, in a strategic collaboration with Inivata for Inivata’s InVisionFirst-Lung liquid biopsy test in the United States. The deal was announced on 26 May. 

Under terms of the collaboration, NeoGenomics will make a $25 million equity investment in Inivata to take a minority shareholding with an option to buy the company outright. It will also take a seat on the Inivata Board of Directors. The new funding will be used by Inivata to further develop its innovative liquid biopsy technology and products.

The Ropes & Gray team was led by health care partner Michael Lampert (Boston) and included private capital transactions partners John Newton and Alexander Robb (both of London), strategic transactions partners Thomas Fraser and Ed Kelly (both of Boston), tax partner Andrew Howard and private capital transactions associates David Dowling and Kenan Ceylan (all of London). 

  • Advising Novavax on its $167 million acquisition of Czech manufacturing facility for COVID-19 vaccine candidate  

Ropes & Gray advised Novavax, Inc., a late-stage biotechnology company developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, in the acquisition of Praha Vaccines a.s., part of the Cyrus Poonawalla Group, in an all cash transaction of approximately $167 million. The acquisition includes a biologics manufacturing facility and associated assets in Bohumil, Czech Republic. 

The facility is expected to provide an annual capacity of over 1 billion doses of antigen starting in 2021 for Novavax’ COVID-19 vaccine candidate. It consists of a stable, prefusion protein antigen made using its proprietary nanoparticle technology and adjuvant. The transaction was announced on 27 May. 

The Ropes & Gray team was led by mergers & acquisitions partner Tara Fisher (Boston) and included tax partner David Saltzman (Boston), privacy & cybersecurity partner Rohan Massey (London), mergers & acquisitions partner Paul Kinsella (Boston) and real estate partner Jack Creedon (Boston). Other team members include corporate associate Hunter Malasky (all of Boston) and private capital transactions associates Shona Ha and Hayley Stokes and tax counsel Christopher Agnoli (all based in London).   

Commenting on trends in the healthcare sector, John Newton, private equity transactions partner, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the business landscape across the health care and life sciences industries, and is continuing to do so. The profound shifts that have resulted from the nearly overnight change in the needs, priorities, and capabilities of patients, consumers, and industry players worldwide will be felt long after the pandemic wanes. The transformative effects of COVID-19 have in some cases accelerated change already under way, and in other cases have reoriented it. For example, there have already been dramatic changes in consumer/patient adoption of new services and products. Consumer and industry demand is expected to preserve many of the temporary regulatory changes that have supported such broad adoption.” 

Helen Croke, private equity transactions partner, added: “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated even more the growth of online retail – particularly for OTC healthcare products and supplements. The M&A market for these types of consumer facing businesses is likely to remain strong in spite of the global crisis”