Life sciences was a major source of deal activity for Fieldfisher in 2019, with three of the firm's four IPOs completed for clients in this sector.
The firm also assisted a number of fast-growing businesses, principally in the biotech space, in successfully raising funds in the London and Paris markets to develop treatments and expand into new markets.
The life sciences sector benefitted from robust confidence last year, as innovations such as personalised treatments and targeted drug delivery techniques garnered significant interest from media, investors and consumers.
The firm's deals included:
- Advising Panmure Gordon and Stifel Europe in relation to a £13 million fundraising for Midatech Pharma PLC (February 2019);
- Advising on the flotation of Rutherford Health plc on London's NEX Growth Market (February 2019); and
- Assisting Tristel plc on an €811,000 deal to take control of its distributor in Italy (July 2019).
Life sciences are expected to remain a strong area of capital markets activity in 2020, particularly fundraisings for personalised treatments and cannabis-based medicines and pharmaceuticals, subject to anticipated revisions in clinical guidelines and novel food regulations.
Deal highlight: Deinove capital raising
Fieldfisher's Paris ECM team advised Deinove, a French biotech company listed on the Euronext Growth Paris market, on an agreement with European Select Growth Opportunities Fund for the financing by issuance of notes convertible into new shares for up to €15 million in separate tranches over a 24-month period.
Based in the Euromedecine science park in Montpellier, Deinove develops innovative antibiotics and bio-based active ingredients for cosmetics.
The deal with European Select Growth Opportunities Fund, announced in July 2019, gives Deinove the financial security and visibility to consolidate its strategy for the cosmetics industry and initiate a Phase II clinical trial in the US for its most advanced antibiotic product.
Commenting on Fieldfisher's ECM deal figures for 2019, Neil Matthews, head of the firm's corporate group, said:
"Despite another challenging year for the capital markets, Fieldfisher has delivered yet another deal record we can be proud of.
"In the UK, we remain at the forefront of deal-making and we continue to enhance our reputation for providing astute legal advice to fast-growing life sciences and technology businesses.
"As other professional advisers have remarked, political uncertainty surrounding Brexit, which was heightened in the run-up to the UK General Election in December, had a noticeable dampening effect on confidence over the course of last year.
"Notwithstanding a perceptible resurgence in confidence following the election, we expect capital markets investors to remain cautious until a stable long-term relationship between the UK and the EU is established.
"Nevertheless, the significant and growing number of international companies in our client portfolio is an encouraging sign that the London markets are still attractive to foreign businesses, who value the depth and sophistication of professional advice available in the UK.
"We look forward to another strong year for our ECM team in 2020."