HBI Buys Antula

Healthcare Brands International, a UK-based provider of OTC medicines, has acquired Antula Holdings AB, a Scandinavian OTC healthcare business, and its subsidiaries. No financial terms were disclosed. HBI financed the deal via a new venture infusion co-led by Essex Woodlands Health Ventures and existing shareholders 3i Group and MVM Life Science Partners. Other return backers included Goldman Sachs, Sofinnova Partners and Abingworth Management.



Healthcare Brands International (HBI) announces the completion of a major step towards its goal of building a new international Over-the-Counter (OTC) healthcare business with the acquisition of Antula Holdings AB, the privately-owned Scandinavian OTC healthcare business, and its subsidiaries.


HBI was launched in October 2006 and is led by Barry Clare, former Chief Executive of Boots Healthcare International.  Its mission is to develop an international OTC healthcare business based on acquiring innovative products, with clinically-proven efficacy, that have the potential to be exploited in markets around the world.

Antula is the leading independent OTC healthcare company in the Scandinavian market.  Successful pharmaceutical brands such as SB12, Zon, Lactal and Eeze have contributed strongly to Antula becoming the fastest growing OTC healthcare business in its local markets over recent years.


HBI is funded by an international syndicate of life science investors.  The financing for this substantial acquisition was co-led by new investor Essex Woodlands, 3i and MVM, with all other existing investors Goldman Sachs, Sofinnova Partners and Abingworth also participating substantially in the transaction.

The acquisition of Antula is the third transaction announced to date by HBI.  Since October 2006, HBI has acquired the Sambucol brand, an elderberry extract with clinically proven efficacy for the treatment of flu, and the rights to develop and market docosanol, the leading US cold sore treatment, in products for the treatment of cold sores in Europe.


Barry Clare, Chairman and CEO of HBI, believes that Antula is a highly complementary acquisition for HBI:


 “Antula provides us with both a business in the Scandinavian markets that has the potential to continue its proven track record of growth and an important portfolio of successful brands, some of which we plan to develop into genuine international franchises.”                                      

About H.B.I. (Healthcare Brands International)


About Antula Healthcare


About Essex Woodlands
Essex Woodlands Health Ventures is one of the world's largest and most established health care venture capital firms with nearly $2 billion of capital under management.  Essex Woodlands invests world-wide in leading private companies in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical technology and health care services.  The Managing Directors of Essex Woodlands work closely with their portfolio companies as lead investors to build significant shareholder value over a period of several years.


About 3i
3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital.  We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital, Venture Capital, Infrastructure and Quoted Private Equity (“QPE”) and invest across Europe, the United States and Asia. 

Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our business relationships.  These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.


3i's recent investments in the healthcare sector include EUSA Pharma, TransMedics, Zonare, Small Bone Innovations and Carmel Pharma, with successful realisations including Care Principles, Westminister Healthcare, Clinica Baviera, Betapharm, DocMorris, and Domantis.


About MVM Life Science Partners
MVM Life Science Partners LLP, founded in 1997, is one of the UK's leading Venture Capital firms and manages three funds totalling US$500 million. MVM invests across the Life Sciences market including biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, drug delivery, gene therapy, medical devices, OTC medicines, research tools and vaccines. MVM invests predominantly in start up and early staged companies based across Europe and in the US. The MVM team has broad experience across the Life Science and Venture Capital markets and maintains offices in London and Boston.


About Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs is a global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. Goldman Sachs provides a wide range of services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, institutional investors, governments, non-profit organisations and individuals. Its headquarters is in New York and Goldman Sachs maintains significant offices in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other financial centres around the world.

About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is France's leading venture capital company, specializing in early stage companies in information technologies and life sciences in France and other European countries.  A sister company, Sofinnova Ventures, is based in San Francisco.   In Life Sciences, Sofinnova Partners focuses on ambitious seed and start-up projects developing new therapeutics in both biopharmaceuticals and medical devices.  Priority is given to companies that develop new products for unmet clinical needs within a sizeable market sector.  Current investments managed are valued at