Riverside Buys Spanish Cord Blood Bank

The Riverside Company has acquired Celvitae, a Madrid, Spain-based cord blood bank. No financial terms were disclosed.


Key Stats:
13th Acquisition of 2010
236th Acquisition Overall

Riverside Europe Fund IV

Based in Madrid, Spain

Founded in 2007, Celvitae is a private cord blood bank licensed by the General Directorate for Regulation and Inspection of the Community of Madrid.
It is the only private bank in Spain to process samples within a hospital environment and maintain a complete maternal-foetal serum bank.
It processes all samples collected within 24 hours, using its laboratory at MD Anderson Internacional España (Madrid), guaranteeing a maximum percentage of live cells.
It complements the activities of Riverside platform Crioestaminal Group, a Portuguese company already operating in Spain.
Celvitae is Riverside’s first deal in Spain, and its third on the Iberian Peninsula.
Since its inception, Celvitae has met with the protocols developed by the International NetCord Foundation, international agency that monitors the quality of public cord blood banks.

In 2009, Celvitae signed a strategic partnership agreement with MD Anderson Internacional España, a leading cancer treatment centre in Europe, which ensures that all cord blood stem cell samples collected in Spain are processed within 24 hours in the hospital’s facilities in Madrid. MD Anderson Internacional España is the world’s only subsidiary of the MD Anderson Center Cancer in Houston, global leader in cancer care. Celvitae is the only private bank in Spain to process its samples in a hospital environment.

Celvitae is one of two cord blood banks licensed in Spain and authorized to work within the public health system. It also has major commercial agreements with some of the leading insurance companies in the Spanish market.

Celvitae will be joining the Crioestaminal Group, a pioneering company and Portuguese market leader, which has been part of the Riverside investment portfolio since 2009. The combination of these two companies in the Spanish market will create the second-largest private bank in Spain in terms of market share based on annual sample rates.

Marcos Lladó, Riverside Partner
“The acquisition of Celvitae forms part of our strategy to create a European leader in the collection, isolation and freezing of stem cells. We intend to continue expanding the group’s international presence through further acquisitions of leading companies in other geographical areas, as well as diversifying into other services related to stem cells and genetic diagnosis.”

Raúl Santos, founder and CEO of Crioestaminal
“Riverside is helping us consolidate our market position in stem cell storage in Spain and Portugal. The acquisition of Celvitae is a major step towards our objective of becoming a first rank company in the stem cell field, both in Europe and globally.”

Eladio Peón, Celvitae CEO
“We are excited about the growth opportunities offered by the combination of Celvitae and the Crioestaminal Group. The support of a solid company like Riverside is an extra value factor in building a group internationally through both organic growth and acquisitions.”

Riverside Team:
Marcos Lladó, Partner; Dominik Heer, Vice President; and Rafael Álvarez-Novoa, Senior Associate, led the team that completed the deal. Juan Barnechea, Director, Origination, Europe, originated the deal.

The Riverside Company (www.riversideeurope.com)
The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm focused on acquiring leading small and medium-sized enterprises (with a value of up to $200 million/€200 million) and partnering with strong management teams to enhance the success of its companies through acquisitions and organic growth. Since its founding in 1988, the firm has invested in 236 transactions with a total enterprise value of $5.0 billion/€ 4.1 billion. The investment portfolio in North America, Europe and Asia includes 74 companies with annual sales totaling $3.3 billion/€2.7 billion, EBITDA of $506 million/ €415 million and more than 13,000 employees (June 2009). Riverside offers the resources to complete acquisitions smoothly – thanks to its more than $3.0 billion/ €2.5 billion in assets under management, more than 180 professionals in 19 offices (Atlanta, Brussels, Budapest, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Stockholm, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, Madrid, Melbourne, Munich, New York, Prague, San Francisco, Seoul, Tokyo and Warsaw) and its longstanding relationships with partner lenders. According to Thomson Venture Economics, seven of Riverside’s nine mature funds rank in the top 25% of all funds in terms of yield (as of 31 December, 2009). The firm’s investors include the world’s leading pension funds, endowments, funds of funds, insurance companies and banks. The Madrid office, opened in 2007, and is led by Marcos Lladó.

Crioestaminal (www.crioestaminal.com)
Founded in 2003, Crioestaminal is a pioneer and market leader in Portugal in the isolation and storage of cord blood stem cells, with over 40,000 parents entrusting it with storing their children’s stem cells. The company recently received the “PME Excelência 2009” award, given to the Portuguese SMEs with the best results and contributing the most to the country’s global competitiveness. Crioestaminal is the third-largest company in Europe in terms of total number of stored samples. It has been present in Italy since 2006 through an exclusive contract with an Italian distributor (Hematos) and in Spain through a subsidiary with its own sales force, which began operating in April 2008 from its base in Barcelona. Crioestaminal also offers a range of innovative prenatal tests to determine a baby’s sex, and an innovative DNA test that offers early detection of the human papilloma virus (HPV). In March, Crioestaminal was accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), making it the sole stem cell bank in Iberia accredited by this body (there are only two other accredited entities in Europe). Crioestaminal has wide experience in the treatment of disease using stem cells, with five samples used. It carried out its first transplant in 2007 to treat severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Since then, four other samples stored at Crioestaminal have been used in experimental treatments, under the direction of Duke University (USA), to treat children with cerebral palsy.

Celvitae (www.celvitae.es)
Celvitae Biomédica is a Spanish private cord blood stem cell bank, founded in 2008. Celvitae offers clients the full guarantees of an entity accredited in Spain as a cord blood bank, in compliance with the provisions of Royal Decree 1301 of November 2006, and works with other entities accredited in this field, such as the MD Anderson Hospital and Vindon Scientific. Celvitae provides a kit for the collection and transport of cord blood, and operates logistical protocols ensuring samples are handled as recommended in the National Cord Blood Plan. Samples collected in Spain are processed in the Processing Centre at the MD Anderson Hospital within 24 hours of collection. This enables recovery of the maximum number of viable cells, which is a critical factor during a transplant. Celvitae complies with the protocols issued by the International NetCord Foundation and the National Cord Blood Plan, published by the National Transplant Organisation.