(Bloomberg) -- Apollo Global Management Inc. is acquiring a minority equity interest in Sofinnova Partners, a European venture capital firm that invests in life sciences companies.
The alternative asset manager will commit as much as 1 billion euros ($1.04 billion) in managed capital to Sofinnova’s investment funds, according to a statement obtained by Bloomberg News.
As part of the deal, Sofinnova will get access to Apollo’s global investment platform, including the firm’s expertise in credit, equities, real estate networks and capital markets, according to the statement.
Apollo will also get a stronger foothold in life sciences, which Scott Kleinman, co-president of Apollo, called a significant growth area for the firm.
“Having the Sofinnova expertise to help us do better diligence is really powerful,” Kleinman said in an interview. He added that there’s potential for the two firms to develop products together.
Apollo owns health-care assets like drugmaker Covis Pharma.
Besides life sciences, Apollo has identified several areas including financial technology, and software, where it can find opportunities to partner with other funds. Under a similar model, it invested in fintech specialist Motive Partners last year.
Apollo’s investment is part of a broader industry trend in which private equity firms are buying or partnering with earlier stage life science investors: Carlyle Group Inc. said in April it agreed to buy Abingworth, a life sciences investment firm, while EQT AB in November said it was buying LSP, a life sciences venture capital firm.
“You can sense the desire of everyone -- the pharma industry on one end and the big asset managers on the other-- to massively increase their exposure to life sciences,” Antoine Papiernik, chairman and managing partner of Sofinnova, said in an interview.
Neil Mehta, an Apollo partner and global head of strategy, will get a board seat at Sofinnova.
Sofinnova, founded in 1972, has offices in Paris, London and Milan. It was an early investor in Swiss biotech Actelion Ltd. which eventually sold to Johnson & Johnson for $30 billion in 2017. It also invested in Principia BioPharma Inc., which Sanofi SA acquired in 2020.
Papiernik added that the firm had been searching for a partner that could help it grow and add resources while still leaving it independent.
Triago advised Sofinnova on the deal, while Guggenheim Partners worked with Apollo.
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