Wellington Partners, a pan-European venture capital firm, announced the successful first closing of its new Wellington Partners IV Life Science Fund, which has attracted commitments from investors of $91 million.
With a target size of $156 million, this new fund is expected to be significantly larger than the previous Wellington Partners III Life Science Fund, which raised $102 million. The Wellington Partners life science team—comprised of general partners Rainer Strohmenger, Erich Schlick, Regina Hodits, Harald Keller, Ernst Mannheimer and Rolf Dienst—will focus on investing these funds in innovative companies in the areas of medical devices, diagnostics and biotechnology on a pan-European basis.
The new fund has attracted investors from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Benelux, France, the U.K., the U.S. and the Middle East. Among the main investors in Wellington Partners IV Life Science are the European Investment Fund (EIF), LfA Foerderbank Bayern, Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH and several large family offices. Despite the challenging financial environment, investors have been convinced by the opportunity to benefit from participation in companies developing highly innovative products in a major growth market as well as by the excellent track record of the Wellington Partners life science investment team.
"This first closing of our new, larger fund in a challenging financial environment is a big success and reflects the strength of our team and our approach to investment in this complex market,” Strohmenger. “Numerous renowned investors are trusting in our ability to create value by selectively investing in the most promising and innovative private life science companies in Europe. The market environment is highly favorable because a majority of investors are currently neglecting this segment despite the fact that the life science market will be one of the most important growth drivers in the coming years. This has led to a scarcity of capital, moderate entry valuations and hence the opportunity to generate outstanding returns for those investors who are willing to act anti-cyclically. This strategy has been pursued by Wellington Partners highly successfully for many years."
Wellington Partners was an early investor in Swiss-based listed pharma player Actelion and in mtm Laboratories, a German diagnostics company focusing on cervical cancer screening, which was acquired by Roche in 2011 for up to $248 million.