EureKING aims to create €1bn+ CDMO via EU SPAC

A group of biopharma pioneers have teamed up to raise $158 million to create a European bio-CDMO.  

EureKING, a “blank-check” company — also known as a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC — claims to be the first European SPAC in healthcare devoted to biomanufacturing. The company aims to form a contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) to be listed on Euronext Paris.

To do so, eureKING is looking to raise €150 million ($158 million), which could be increased to €165 million ($174 million) if the extension clause is fully exercised.

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The project is backed by seven founders, including Gerard Le Fur, Sanofi’s previous CEO who has joined as co-founder and chairman of the board, the former head of Panasonic Health, Michael Kloss, Hubert Olivier, CEO of McKesson France and Belgium, Christophe Jean, who previously worked for Novartis, Stefan Berchtold of PHC Holdings and Peter Eckenberg of Pacific Diabetes Technologies, who both used to work at Bayer.

“The SPAC is targeting high growth segments with unmet needs: biologics, cell & gene therapy, and live biotherapeutics,” Kloss, CEO of eureKING told us.

“We have about 40 potential targets, but we are looking for profitable companies with good opportunity for growth and we don’t want to just stay with one target. This is about building a mid-size player with a range of businesses within it [and] the ultimate aim is to build an enterprise value north of €1 billion eventually.”

According to Kloss, France is an “obvious choice” for eureKING because of the support for the market and favorable government initiatives. In particular, the rise of modalities like cell and gene therapy and/or messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines has led the company to “want to take advantage of that momentum and target a specific market segment, the biopharma CDMO sector, which is crucial for the successful launch and roll-out of biopharmaceutical drugs but is less risky for investors compared to a straight biotech investment.”

EureKING also said it is witnessing “huge demand” for this in Europe and stated that there is a “significant shortage of specialized manufacturing and development capacity.”

The SPAC listing is anticipated to take place in the coming weeks, and Kloss said eureKING is “fully confident in our ability to find a suitable target IBC (Initial Business Combination) […] in this 15-month timeframe as we have already identified a strong pipeline of potential acquisition targets that are currently actionable.”

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