Tánaiste Launches €75m Seroba Kernel Life Sciences Fund II Limited Partnership.

Major New Life Sciences Fund to Capitalise on Significant Investment Opportunities in Irish and European Life Sciences Sector.

7th Fund under Enterprise Ireland’s Seed and Venture Capital Scheme 2007-2012 Announced.

Dublin, Ireland and London, United Kingdom, February 9th 2009: The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan TD, today announced the first close of the Seroba Kernel Life Sciences Fund II Limited Partnership, with €75 million of commitments. This new entity creates one of the largest dedicated life science venture capital firms in Ireland and the UK. Headquartered in Dublin, Seroba Kernel Life Sciences Ltd has an experienced fund management team of six, based in both Dublin and London. The closing of the new fund brings the total life science funds currently under management by this team to over €200 million.

This is the seventh fund supported by Government through Enterprise Ireland’s €175m Seed and Venture Capital Programme 2007-2012, and is the second fund dedicated to the Life Sciences sector.

Making the announcement the Tánaiste said:
“Seed and venture capital are essential for the growth and development of successful high potential Irish business and I am delighted to announce the creation of the Seroba Kernel Life Sciences Fund II Limited Partnership. This fund is hugely important, marking a significant increase in the availability of capital for companies in the life sciences sector. It underpins Enterprise Ireland’s strategy in supporting the sustained growth and internationalisation of this sector and will help drive the commercialisation of new and innovative products from ambitious Irish companies”.

The new fund will be dedicated to product focused, innovative early and mid-stage life sciences companies, including potentially some investments in public companies, primarily in Ireland and the United Kingdom, that offer a significant potential investment return. The firm intends to invest in 10 to 15 companies, focused primarily on therapeutics, medical devices and diagnostics but will also consider other opportunities in the life sciences sector. The fund will lead or co-lead its investments with an average investment size of about €5.0m to €7.0m per company over the life of the fund.

Investors in the Seroba Kernel Life Sciences Fund II Limited Partnership are made up of Enterprise Ireland and other institutional investors including the National Pensions Reserve Fund. Peter Sandys, Managing Partner of Seroba Kernel Life Sciences, commenting on the fund launch said:
“We are delighted to announce our first close, particularly in the current economic environment, which I think speaks to the quality of our investment strategy. We feel this is an excellent time to launch a new life sciences fund as there are attractive entry valuations for new investors and an ongoing robust demand for new innovative healthcare products. With a broad base of tier 1 institutional investors our new fund is well positioned to capitalise on the significant investment opportunities within the Irish and European Life Sciences sector”.
Niall Olden, Managing Partner of Kernel Capital said:
“It is important for the Irish Venture Capital industry that we created a firm of scale that has the ability to compete with the best in Europe. This Joint Venture brings together an exceptional investment team, with substantial relevant experience and an excellent track record. This €75m Life Science Fund compliments our existing €110m Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Funds I & II, which continue to invest in ambitious and innovative indigenous companies in non Life Science sectors.”

–ENDS-

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Peter Sandys, Managing Partner, Seroba Kernel Life Sciences.
Tel: +353 1 6334028.

Eileen Banks, Press Officer, Enterprise Ireland.
Tel: +353 1 7272805/ 087 2445814.
E-mail: eileen.banks@enterprise-ireland.com

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