Leerink Raises $35 Million to Expand Banking


New York-Leerink Swann, a boutique investment bank specializing in health care with a strong research offering, recently raised $35 million in private equity capital.  Leerink  is highly regarded for it research on the health care sector, and owns a health care-oriented expert network, MEDACorp.

Lovell Minnick and March Group, two middle market buyout firms, combined for the investment.   Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  We estimate that Leerink’s revenues are around $125 million, and given typical valuations for financial institutions, private equity stake is likely to be between 10% and 15%.

Leerink says proceeds will be used to expand its investment banking and advisory businesses and to add asset management and ‘principal activities.’  Leerink says revenues are up 25%, which is likely driven by investment banking activity rather than commissions.  Leerink’s expansion is part of a trend for research boutiques to pursue additional sources of revenue to offset declining trading revenues as commissions become unbundled through client commission arrangements (CCAs).   We have heard of a variety of research boutiques which are contemplating adding investment banking capabilities.

The press release follows:

Leerink Swann Receives Commitment for Investments
from Lovell Minnick Partners and the March Group

Boston, MA – July 23, 2007 – Leerink Swann, the leading healthcare investment bank, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to receive a $35 million minority investment from Lovell Minnick Partners (“Lovell Minnick”) and the March Group (“March”).

Lovell Minnick, a private equity firm that specializes in the global financial services industry, and March, a firm focused primarily on the pharmaceutical and financial services sectors, will have representatives from each firm join Leerink Swann’s Board of Directors. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, pending regulatory and shareholder approvals.

“We are pleased to have Lovell Minnick and March join us as shareholders,” stated Jeffrey A. Leerink, Chairman and CEO of Leerink Swann. “Both firms possess deep industry knowledge and company-building expertise. Their representation will add significant value to our Board of Directors as we accelerate our investment banking and advisory businesses and expand into principal and asset management activities.”

Mr. Leerink continued, “The marketplace continues to acknowledge the value of our business model, as evidenced by the Firm’s record revenue and earnings momentum. This investment capital, applied to our unique business platform, will serve as an additional catalyst for Leerink Swann’s aggressive growth plans.”

Jeffrey D. Lovell, Managing Director of Lovell Minnick Partners said, “Leerink Swann has created a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on its industry leading position in healthcare. The Firm’s knowledge focus, driven by its proprietary MEDACorp network, delivers a sustainable advantage in a highly competitive marketplace. We look forward to supporting them in their efforts.”

Johannes Frey, Chief Operating and Financial Officer of the March Group, continued, “Leerink Swann represents a perfect strategic fit for March. Leerink Swann’s commitment to establishing a world-class investment banking capability geared exclusively toward the healthcare industry ideally positions the Firm to capitalize on one of the largest industries in the global economy.”

Mr. Leerink concluded, “The recognition of Leerink Swann’s differentiated platform by Lovell Minnick and March further enhances our position as the leading healthcare investment bank.”

About Leerink Swann & Company
Leerink Swann is a healthcare-focused investment banking firm that provides equity research, corporate finance, asset management, and strategic advisory services for institutional, life sciences, and high-net-worth clients. For the past six years, Institutional Investor has named Leerink Swann “Best of the Boutiques” in Biotechnology, Healthcare Technology & Distribution, Medical Supplies and Devices, Pharmaceuticals/Major, and Pharmaceuticals/Specialty. Through its MEDACorp division, Leerink Swann provides biomedical-consulting services to the institutional investment community. With an internal team of experts and a dedicated external network of academic and community healthcare professionals, MEDACorp assesses the viability of cutting-edge medical technologies, thus giving decision makers the information they need to perform. Leerink Swann is a member NASD/SIPC.

About Lovell Minnick Partners
Lovell Minnick Partners LLC is an independent private equity firm providing buyout and growth capital to companies in the financial services industry. From offices in the Los Angeles and Philadelphia areas, Lovell Minnick manages private equity partnerships totaling over $350 million on behalf of qualified private and institutional investors. Portfolio companies of Lovell Minnick operate in various areas of the global financial services industry, including asset management, financial product distribution, outsourced administration services, securities brokerage, and financial consulting. For more information regarding Lovell Minnick Partners, visit www.LovellMinnick.com.

About the March Group
The March Group is a privately owned investment group headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. March’s core business is the management of proprietary investments. The predominant part of March’s business portfolio consists of strategic, long-term equity participations in companies operating in March’s preferred industry sectors, pharmaceuticals and finance. March’s portfolio of industry participations is complemented by an endowment-like investment portfolio. For more information regarding March visit www.march-group.com.


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