Cerberus Capital Management L.P. has invested $105 million for a majority economic interest in PaxVax Inc. Financial terms weren’t announced. Ignition Growth Capital and other existing investors will remain as minority shareholders. PaxVax is a Redwood City, California-based specialty vaccine company.
PaxVax, Inc. Announces $105 Million Investment from Cerberus Capital Management
Cerberus Investment Represents a Majority Economic Interest in the Company
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. and NEW YORK, Dec. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — PaxVax, Inc. (“PaxVax”), a Redwood City, California-based specialty vaccine company, today announced that an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. (“Cerberus”) has acquired a majority economic interest in the company. As part of the transaction, Ignition Growth Capital (“Ignition”) and other existing investors will remain as minority shareholders in the company.
PaxVax is a fully integrated pharmaceutical company that specializes in the development, manufacture and commercialization of innovative vaccines against infectious diseases. The company has extensive research and development capabilities, a world-class manufacturing facility and an on-the-ground sales presence in the U.S. and across Europe. The PaxVax management team, which Cerberus will retain, has deep experience and demonstrated expertise in the development, manufacture and sale of vaccines.
The company manufactures and markets Vivotif®, an FDA-approved typhoid vaccine which is currently licensed in 27 countries including the US and major European markets. The company also has vaccines in clinical development for cholera (Vaxchora), anthrax, HIV and hepatitis A.
“This significant investment by Cerberus will allow PaxVax to eliminate debt and allow us to focus on the execution of our business plan such as growing the Vivotif business and launching Vaxchora,” said PaxVax CEO Nima Farzan. “PaxVax has an exciting product pipeline in place, and we are looking forward to growing and being able to deliver new and important vaccines to patients long into the future with Cerberus, one of the world’s most respected investment firms, as our partner.”
Cerberus fully supports PaxVax’s continued focus on the specialty vaccine market, its research and development strategy, and its social commitment to expanding access to vaccines in the developing world.
Upon closing of the transaction, PaxVax welcomes new board leadership, which will include pharmaceutical industry veterans James T. Lenehan and Dean J. Mitchell. Mr. Lenehan is a senior advisor to Cerberus and member of several boards of Cerberus-controlled companies; previously he served as Vice Chairman and President of Johnson & Johnson. Mr. Mitchell currently serves as Executive Chairman of the Board of Covis Pharma Holdings S.a.r.l. and previously served in senior executive positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb and GlaxoSmithKline, among other companies.
“Cerberus is pleased to be able to make this investment in PaxVax, which has a management team with unparalleled expertise in the specialty vaccine business and a highly scalable platform to reach patients around the world,” said Mr. Lenehan. “Our investments of capital and operational resources will allow PaxVax to realize the enormous potential of its products without the distractions and limitations of a highly levered capital structure.”
Cerberus has been an active investor in the healthcare sector and has a strong track record of providing such portfolio companies with access to capital, often with little to no debt, optimizing operational flexibility and growth potential. The firm has invested in a range of healthcare sectors, such as specialty pharma (Covis Pharma and Aton Pharma), Accountable Care Organizations (Steward Health Care System), protein-based biotherapeutics (Talecris Biotherapeutics) and pharmacy distribution (Coram), among others.
Morgan Lewis & Bocklus LLP served as outside legal advisor to PaxVax on the transaction. Lowenstein Sandler LLP served as outside legal advisor to Cerberus on the transaction. DLA Piper served as outside legal advisor to Ignition on the transaction.
Founded in 2007, PaxVax is a fully integrated specialty vaccine company with a mission to develop, manufacture and commercialize innovative vaccines against infectious diseases in a socially responsible manner. By focusing on diseases where there is unmet need and committing to socially responsible operations, PaxVax has been able to successfully address the compelling, overlooked traveler market with commercial and late-stage vaccine candidates. The PaxVax portfolio includes a licensed vaccine for typhoid (Vivotif®), and vaccines at various stages of research and clinical development for cholera, anthrax, HIV, and hepatitis A. PaxVax is headquartered inRedwood City, California and maintains research and development and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facilities in San Diego, California, USA, and Bern, Switzerland. More information is available at www.PaxVax.com.
About Ignition Capital
Headquartered in Seattle, Ignition Capital is the growth equity arm of a $3 billion global family group (which includes Ignition Partners and Qiming Ventures). Ignition Capital provides investment, strategic and operational support to emerging industry leaders in the technology, communications, consumer and healthcare sectors.
About Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.
Established in 1992, Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. is one of the world’s leading private investment firms. Cerberus has more than US $28 billion under management invested in four primary strategies: distressed securities & assets; control and non-control private equity; commercial mid-market lending and real estate-related investments. From its headquarters in New York City and large network of affiliate and advisory offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia, Cerberus has the on-the-ground presence to invest in multiple sectors, through multiple investment strategies in countries around the world.