SOURCE: Essex Woodlands Health Ventures

April 27, 2011 08:00 ET

Healthcare Brands International (HBI) Announces the Sale of Its Wholly Owned Swedish Subsidiary, Antula Healthcare, the Leading Independent OTC Healthcare Company in the Nordic Markets

LONDON--(Marketwire - Apr 27, 2011) - HBI has completed the sale of Antula Healthcare to Meda AB, a leading international specialty pharmaceutical company, for SEK 1.8 billion (US$288 million).

Healthcare Brands International was founded in 2006 by Barry Clare, who previously managed Boots Healthcare International, the over the counter pharmaceuticals business of Boots plc. The company's mission was to develop the international potential of strong local brands, and was supported by a group of leading healthcare venture capital firms, including Essex Woodlands, MVM, Sofinnova Partners and Abingworth.

In December 2007, HBI acquired Antula Healthcare having identified the company as a significant growth opportunity due to its unique portfolio of products in the Nordic markets, and the international development potential of its innovative medicated mouthwash, SB-12.

During its ownership of Antula Healthcare, HBI has brought management discipline and industry experience to support and encourage an exceptionally gifted and entrepreneurial team, achieving a doubling of sales revenue to SEK 500 million in three years. The sale to Meda will allow the team to continue to outpace market growth in the Nordics and help Meda become a major international player in the OTC market.

Barry Clare, Chairman of HBI, commented, "Antula's management team has achieved sustainable rapid revenue growth through innovative marketing, line extensions, and new product launches. We are particularly proud of their accomplishment in developing and building their own flagship product SB-12, a medicated mouthwash, into a SEK 200 million product in the Nordic market."

Martin Murphy of MVM said, "Our involvement in HBI has been an excellent experience, both in supporting the growth of a highly innovative company, but also giving MVM exposure to the OTC healthcare market, where customer choice drives value growth. MVM constantly looks for innovative businesses that approach the market with a differentiated strategy and Antula Healthcare have constantly shown their ability to lead the market. Despite investing through a very difficult economic period for consumer spending, our robust support for the management team has allowed them to achieve real growth and create shareholder value."

Petri Vainio of Essex Woodlands added, "HBI represents another successful exit from Essex's growth equity portfolio. We are delighted with the performance of the company during the period of our ownership, and would like to thank Magnus Kamryd, CEO of Antula and his team, and wish them well on the next phase of the company's journey. It has been a privilege to support such an entrepreneurial management team and help them achieve a great outcome for the company's employees and investors."

About Essex Woodlands

With $2.5 billion under management, Essex Woodlands is one of the largest and oldest venture capital firms pursuing investments in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, health care services, and health information technology. Since its founding in 1985, Essex Woodlands has maintained its singular commitment to the healthcare industry and has been involved in the founding, investing, and/or management of over 100 healthcare companies ranging across all sectors, stages and geography. The team is comprised of 25 senior investment professionals with offices in Palo Alto, Houston, New York and London. For more information, please visit www.ewhv.com.

About MVM

MVM Life Science Partners is a Venture Capital firm that has been investing in emerging healthcare companies since 1998. MVM has three funds totalling £277 million under management and makes venture capital and growth equity investments. The team of eight investment professionals is located in London and Boston. MVM invests in companies that are developing or commercialising pharmaceuticals, vaccines, drug delivery technologies, OTC medicines, medical devices, diagnostics and healthcare services.

MVM portfolio companies include: Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Alliance Pharma plc, Biomedix Vascular Solutions, Inc., BioVex Limited, Cara Therapeutics, Inc., Cheetah Medical, Inc., Domantis Limited, Evotec AG, Healthcare Brands International Limited, Heptares Therapeutics Limited, Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc., PregLem SA, Pulmagen Therapeutics Limited, Solx, Inc., Tarsa Therapeutics, Inc., Third Wave Technologies, Inc., Vantia Therapeutics Limited, Vascular Pathways, Inc., and Xention Limited.

About Sofinnova Partners

Sofinnova Partners is an independent venture capital firm based in Paris, France. For over 35 years, the firm has backed nearly 500 companies at different stages of development -- pure creations, spin-offs, as well as turnaround situations -- and worked alongside Europe's key entrepreneurs in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors. With EUR 1.1 billion of funds under management, Sofinnova Partners' experienced team and hands-on approach in building portfolio companies through to exit have created market leaders, from landmark historical investments including Genentech, Actelion and Vistaprint to more recent successes such as CoreValve, Novexel, Fovea, Sensitive Object, Movetis and PreGlem. With a global mindset, the firm has a sister organization in San Francisco, California. Please visit www.sofinnova.fr for more information on Sofinnova's team and portfolio.

About Abingworth

Abingworth is an international investment group dedicated exclusively to the life sciences and healthcare sector. The company invests at all stages of development including early and late-stage venture financing, growth equity and public companies.

Founded in 1973, Abingworth has a lengthy track record of backing market leading companies. Abingworth has a specialist team of over 20 professionals with a broad range of skill sets and access to an extensive network of industry contacts. Abingworth has funds under management of over $1.25 billion and offices in London, Menlo Park (California) and Boston.