Wednesday January 1st 2020
Riviera Travel £126m | Antidote Productions | Oxford Biomedica £30.8m | Horizon Discovery £24.1m | Allergy Therapeutics £50m
News about 5 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 18th -24th June 2017:
RIVIERA TRAVEL: founder cruises to another payday | Daniel Dunkley, The Sunday Times. June 18.
DZ profile: Riviera Tours Limited
Business: The company mainly sells escorted tours to travellers aged over 55. …specialises in all-inclusive European river cruises and lavish trips for wealthy customers. It has recently launched in America and Australasia and has also started offering holidays for solo travellers. ....tour holidays, river and ocean cruises, city breaks, and long-haul tours to more than 50 countries, attracting more than 118,000 customers per year.
Location: Burton On Trent
Founder: Michael Wright, 61, non-executive director. According to this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, the Staffordshire-based entrepreneur has already amassed a fortune of £135m — through the 2014 sale and other business interests. Wright’s fortune increased by £10m last year, according to the Rich List, which ranked the tycoon as 820th in the country for individual wealth.
Financials: made a £9.2m profit in 2015 on turnover of £126m. …underlying earnings of nearly £25m a year
Investment: in 2014 Wright sold a majority stake to PHOENIX EQUITY PARTNERS, valuing the operator at £120m. Phoenix, best known in the City for owning the fashion brand LK BENNETT and restaurant chain BUSABA EATHAI. Phoenix is also selling MUSTO, the sporting and outdoor clothing brand favoured by the Queen and Duchess of Cambridge.
1. Is set for a big payday after his business was put on the auction block for £250m. … after its majority owner Phoenix hired the professional services firm PwC to find new investors …Private equity sources said a sale would value Riviera at about £250m, catapulting Wright up the list of Britain’s top earners. Investment heavyweights such as BRIDGEPOINT and EQUISTONE, the former buyout arm of Barclays, have registered an interest in purchasing the company in the past.
Over 55s tour operator Riviera Travel changes private equity hands for over £200m | Lucy White, City A.M. December 13, 2017
2. Today PHOENIX EQUITY PARTNERS sold Riviera to SILVERFLEET CAPITAL in a deal that put its value at more than £200m. First caught Phoenix's eye in 2014, when the firm supported a management buyout led by the business's chief executive David Clemson. Since then, earnings have risen around 80 per cent as Phoenix has encouraged the business to grow its direct-to-consumer channel, add new products and expand internationally.
3. Silverfleet plans to increase the river cruise capacity by investing in new ships, and expand the US customer base.
4. So far this year, Phoenix has sold PORTHAVEN CARE HOMES and KEY RETIREMENT GROUP.
ANTIDOTE PRODUCTIONS: TV duo shoot for US with £1m fillip | Laura Onita, The Sunday Times
DZ profile: Antidote Productions Limited
Business: TV production company which produced the acclaimed documentary Professor Green: Suicide and Me, shown on the BBC.
Location: based on the City fringe
Founders: Laura Jones, 39, a Bafta award-winning film maker, and Leila Monks, 38, a film producer and distributor
Financials: Monks said Antidote was profitable and expected to reach revenues of £10m “in the next few years”.
Investment: The founders are majority shareholders and raised £1m from investment fund EDGE INVESTMENTS. They will use it to expand into America and Canada.
Small-cap focus: UK’s booming biotech groups | Sarah Neville, FT. June 23
From gene-editing, to remedies for potentially fatal allergies, a cohort of biotechs are making scientific leaps that could radically change the outlook for people suffering from an array of diseases and conditions — and simultaneously propel their revenues to new heights. Some of these groups are teaming up with big pharmaceuticals companies, which hope to get a slice of the profits without spending cash on acquiring them outright. For the biotechs, relationships with big pharma offer the infrastructure and reach that they do not possess — but may need if they are fully to commercialise their discoveries. For three, in particular, the next 12 months could prove pivotal.
DZ profile: Oxford Biomedica Plc
Business: biotech groups …its most important asset is the LentiVector platform — a gene delivery system using a virus that is introduced into the body, where it is used to transport cells that have been engineered to recognise and attack cancerous cells. This treatment, known as CAR-T, is one of the most promising new approaches to tackling cancer. This opens up the prospect of lucrative partnerships with big drugmakers, which will need its delivery system as they develop their own CAR-T products.
Staff: increasing staffing levels from 80 at the start of 2014 to 275 now. John Dawson, chief executive
Financials: the company’s revenues increased by 64 per cent in a year, from £18.8m in 2015 to £30.8m in 2016. …invested £26m in the past two years in manufacturing facilities and laboratories.
Investment: Quoted on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, since April 2001
News: the LentiVector has spawned a tie-up with NOVARTIS, the Swiss pharma group. …a key “trigger” for the share price will be the expected approval, and launch, this year of the first CAR-T therapy for the treatment of leukaemia. …an analyst at Jefferies…is forecasting at least $1bn worldwide peak sales, which will provide “an important sustainable revenue stream” of about £65m to £75m in annual income for Oxford BioMedica.
DZ profile: Horizon Discovery Group Plc
Business: biotech that is seeing a rapid growth in revenues, which has become a world leader in the application of gene editing using techniques such as Crispr (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), a cut-and-paste procedure that can be used to snip out pieces of DNA. Horizon is also working on cell therapy projects in areas such as immuno-oncology, autoimmune diseases, rare genetic conditions, metabolic, neurological and blood disorders.
Founders: Dr Chris Torrance and Professor Alberto Bardelli
Staff: chief executive, Darrin Disley
Financials: Group revenue increased 19 per cent, to £24.1m, in 2016 and sales rose 25 per cent year on year in the first quarter of 2017. …is now on course to be profitable on the back of expected revenues of £30m to £35m in 2017.
Investment: Quoted on AIM since March 2014
1. It recently announced it was working with three unnamed clients on pre-clinical development of a variety of gene and cell therapy treatments in areas of high unmet medical need. The work is expected to contribute more than $2m in revenue in 2017.
2. Mr Disley says the company can help address “the biggest problem with modern healthcare”: an ageing population, suffering from diseases such as Alzheimer’s, which have a genetic basis. “We need to solve those problems if the healthcare model is going to be viable moving forward,” he adds.
DZ profile: Allergy Therapeutics Plc
Business: specialises in short-course injectable immunotherapies, consisting of between four and six injections. …represents a reduction of “between 60 and 90 per cent”, compared with other companies’ products that can demand more than 50 injections to be effective.
Location: Worthing, West Sussex
Staff: Manuel Llobet, chief executive
Financials: Revenues from the company’s existing pollen vaccines in Europe stood at £50m in 2016.
Investment: Quoted on AIM since October 2004
1. …has further products in the pipeline for grasses, trees and ragweed for which it is hoping to secure approval in the US and Europe. House dust mite vaccines are also in early clinical development.
2. Perhaps the most eye-catching new injectable vaccine immunotherapy it has under development is a treatment for peanut allergy, for which there is currently no established or safe treatment. Mr Llobet said peanut allergy was “a very serious issue in the US”, where it led to the deaths of between 200 and 300 children each year. The company had carried out a successful “proof of concept” and hoped to bring a peanut treatment to market in seven or eight years, he said.