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Scoop: H.I.G.'s Taconic Biosciences in play

Jul 29, 2022
Illustration of a 100 dollar bill with a mouse hole in it.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

H.I.G. Capital is exploring the sale of Taconic Biosciences, a Rensselaer, New York-based pre-clinical research development company, three sources tell Sarah.

What's happening: A Baird-run sale process recently kicked off, sources say, with first-round bids collected earlier this week.

  • The company is marketing approximately $30 million of EBITDA, some of the people say.

Context: Taconic specializes in murine research — that is, genetically engineered mice and rat models to support drug discovery in oncology, immunology, neurology and other therapeutic areas.

  • The company since its 1949 inception has grown from a single facility in upstate New York to a global network of facilities and lab sites in the U.S. and Europe.
  • H.I.G. acquired the company in February 2019.

Yes, and: The process for Taconic comes on the heels of Mérieux Equity Partners' acquisition of Laval-based Janvier Labs, which covers a range of rodent models (mice, rats, hamsters and gerbils) to support clinical research.

  • Rothschild advised Janvier on the deal, and Lazard worked with the buyer.

State of play: For some funds, there's a perceived headline risk when it comes to investing in rodent models in research. Nonetheless, it's a growing market.

  • The rat model market is projected to reach 2.3 billion by 2028, fueled by a growth in personalized medicine research, which increasingly utilizes this method of testing, per a recent report.
  • Strategics that play in pre-clinical could take interest, such as Charles River, Inotiv, which owns Envigo, or Novo's Altasciences Clinical Research, sources suggest.
  • Or, perhaps the LabCorp spin-out (formerly Covance) would want to reenter animal models to compete with their single largest competition in preclinic services — Charles River, one person adds.

The bottom line: Many anticipated 2H 2022 processes in pharma services are getting pushed to 2023, sources tell Sarah. This is one of a few (of some scale) alive right now, besides Celerion and Auctus-backed Pharmalex, the latter which we hear is nearing the finish line...

H.I.G. and Baird did not return requests for comment.

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