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Parent of Silicon Valley Bank to Acquire Healthcare Investment Bank Leerink Partners

November 16, 2018, 07:18 AM
Filed Under: Mergers & Acquisitions

SVB Financial Group (SVB) announced that it has entered into a merger agreement to acquire Leerink Holdings LLC (Leerink), the Boston-based parent company of Leerink Partners LLC, a leading investment bank focused on the healthcare and life science industries. SVB Financial Group is the parent company of Silicon Valley Bank, the bank of the world's most innovative companies and their investors.

The new entity, SVB Leerink, will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of SVB Financial Group. With the acquisition, SVB will complement its commercial banking and lending products with a full range of investment banking services focused on healthcare and life science companies. SVB will acquire Leerink for $280 million in cash up front to the unitholders and, in addition, will provide a retention pool for employees of $60 million to be paid over five years. The deal has been approved by Leerink's unitholders and the transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2019.

Leerink is an established leader in Equity & Convertible Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions, Equity Research and Sales & Trading for growth and innovation-minded healthcare and life science companies.

"SVB and Leerink share a focus on providing financing and strategic advice at critical stages in a company's growth and development," said Greg Becker, CEO of SVB Financial Group and Silicon Valley Bank. "Together, we will deliver a complete capital markets offering – including debt, convertible debt and equity financing – and advisory services – including mergers & acquisitions – for private and public healthcare and life science companies. Leerink is a best-in-class firm and we look forward to welcoming our Leerink colleagues to SVB."

The leadership team at Leerink Partners will remain in place and will run the business in much the same capacity as it operates today. SVB Leerink will focus on continuing to grow its business and will partner with SVB's life science and healthcare team to support their collective clients more comprehensively, through every stage of their financial lifecycle.  

"This merger represents an important step forward for our firm as we continue to strive to be an indispensable company-building partner to our expanding global client base," said Jeff Leerink, Chairman and CEO of Leerink, who will serve as the CEO of SVB Leerink. "SVB and Leerink share a strong client-focused culture, uniquely aligned on building long-term client relationships."

"SVB is the ideal partner to advance our franchise and more comprehensively serve our clients as they pursue their strategic, capital markets and investment objectives," said James Boylan, President and Head of Investment Banking at Leerink Partners, who will serve in the same role at SVB Leerink. "We look forward to collaborating with our partners at SVB as we share a common focus on growth and innovation-minded healthcare companies."

SVB Leerink will continue to provide broad coverage across all subsectors of healthcare including: biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostic and life science tools, healthcare services and digital health. The acquisition will accelerate the growth and geographic reach of Leerink's offering, while providing SVB with a diverse and growing revenue stream, as well as the opportunity for their collective clients to leverage the broadest set of products and services available.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, A Stifel Company, acted as financial advisor to SVB in the transaction. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP served as legal counsel to SVB. Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P. acted as financial advisor to Leerink. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal counsel to Leerink.

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