sigma-tau Strengthens with Banca Intesa
Main objectives of the deal: growth through alliances, investment in new
research projects, internationalization
ROME, March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The shareholders of sigma-tau, one of the leading Italian pharmaceutical groups, and Banca Intesa have signed an agreement today. Banca Intesa will increase sigma-tau share capital by about 70 million euros (US$ 86 million) corresponding to a 5% stake. The total enterprise value recognized is 1.5 billion euros. Banca Intesa gave high consideration to sigma-tau's research activities in Italy and abroad, to the number, originality and development stage of its ongoing projects as well as to the group's patent portfolio. The deal is part of a larger project to increase the value of sigma-tau, with the aim of growing the business, increasing both the profitability of current and future products and the investments in R&D projects, to which sigma-tau allocates about 75 million euros (US$ 92 million) yearly. The medium-term target is the internationalisation, with specific focus on the North-American market, and the listing on a stock exchange market. sigma-tau is the second largest pharmaceutical group with a wholly Italian-owned capital, and the sixth largest pharmaceutical group operating on the Italian market (ranking 2004), with a market share of 3.5%. The 2005 group's revenues amount to 674 million euros (US$ 822 million). Claudio Cavazza, Chairman and founder of sigma-tau, has commented, "Companies operating in advanced technology sectors with high growth potential, such as the pharmaceutical industry, can only carry out their development strategies both on the domestic and international markets through alliances. Banca Intesa is our ideal financial partner and will give strong support to our Group". Corrado Passera, Managing Director and CEO of Banca Intesa, stated, "Entering sigma-tau's equity illustrates perfectly our strategy towards Italian companies. Our goal is to support the development of healthy companies in Italy and abroad. sigma-tau plans to invest in innovation, has a global strategy, reliable managers and wants to expand into foreign markets. When Claudio Cavazza proposed us to join sigma-tau as a shareholder in this new development phase, we gladly seized the opportunity." The deal has been signed by Banca Intesa Corporate Division, headed by Gaetano Micciche, operating in Italy and abroad and relying on over 3,000 professionals working for 16,500 large and medium size companies. The Corporate Division, with investments of over 37 billion euros (US$ 45 bln), supports companies and operates in several areas, such as the Advisory, M&A, Structured Finance (leveraged finance, project finance, securitization), Merchant Banking and Capital Markets in cooperation with Caboto. The Advisory group of Banca Intesa Corporate Division has structured this transaction together with sigma-tau management team. Studio Legale Carbonetti acted as legal advisor for the company, while Studio Legale Pavesi-Gitti-Verzoni was legal advisor for the investors. sigma-tau was founded at the end of the 1950s and is one of the leading Italian pharmaceutical groups. It employs 2,400 people, 400 of whom work in R&D. Since its creation, the Group has made significant investment in Research and Development activities. The Group focuses on the following therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, metabolism, central and peripheral nervous system, immunology and oncology. Particular significance in this latter area has "Gimatecan," a novel anti-cancer compound. A major agreement was signed in 2003 with the Swiss multinational drug company Novartis, which acquired the worldwide development and marketing rights for Gimatecan from sigma-tau. Currently, sigma-tau's portfolio includes 48 projects in several therapeutic areas; 10 NCEs (New Chemical Entities) are under investigation; clinical trials are being conducted in 32 different indications with 16 proprietary molecules, 13 of which are "new and original." sigma-tau is particularly proud of its R&D efforts in the area of "Rare Diseases" which is being intensively developed by its US subsidiary, sigma-tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The Group, headquartered in Pomezia (Rome), has subsidiaries in France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, the USA (Gaithersburg, Maryland), as well as in Spain and Sudan, where the Group runs two production facilities. Finally, sigma-tau has recently established corporations in China for the worldwide development of an anti-malarial drug deriving from Chinese traditional medicine.
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