CatSci, a highly innovative spin-out from AstraZeneca, approached Shaw & Co to source funding to support its long-term expansion plan.
CatSci Ltd develops economically and environmentally sustainable drug manufacturing processes that enable its global pharmaceutical customers to create affordable small molecule therapeutics which address critical public health challenges, including antimicrobial resistance, cancer, and mental health.
The company, which has six operational laboratories across two UK sites including its headquarters in Cardiff, works internationally in 13 countries and with four of the top five global pharmaceutical companies. The company currently employs more than 100 people, of which approximately 80% hold a PhD degree.
CatSci was formed in December 2010 from a spin-out of AstraZeneca’s Catalyst Screening Facility by five founders, including the current co-owners Dr Ross Burn (Chief Executive Officer) and Dr Simon Tyler (Chief Commercial Officer).
In 2021 we began working with this highly innovative business to source the necessary funding that would support the continued expansion of its workforce, laboratories, equipment, and services allowing CatSci to advance more therapeutics towards launch. Taking a long-term perspective, the company intends to create or sustain 500 high-value jobs in the UK.
Stage 1: BOOST&Co Business Funding
The first stage - a continuation of CatSci’s initial £3m investment in 2021 - was to secure £4.5m of investment that would enable the company to refinance some of its existing debt, pay for new equipment, and commence a major extension to its 13,000 sq ft laboratories in Cardiff which would support the expansion of its capabilities in chemical and analytical development, material science, product formulation and GMP Analytical testing.
We ran a thorough competitive process across both traditional and alternative lending markets to ensure that we found CatSci the best possible deal - from the alternative lender BOOST&Co - which would provide them with a strong foundation for further growth.
Stage 2: Keensight Private Equity Investment
The next stage was to find a private equity partner for a long-term partnership. There was a high level of interest from a range of private equity investment houses, but a key complexity of the deal was ensuring that, not only was the best deal was found, but also the best partner to take CatSci forward to the next level.
Investment was found from Keensight Capital, a leading European private equity manager. As lead advisors to CatSci, we added substantial additional value by running a competitive process that not only delivered the best deal for the company and its shareholders, but delivered the transaction swiftly and efficiently.
Short deadlines had also been required to enable CatSci to immediately take advantage of the current market situation. We were ultimately able to shave a month off the target deal completion date by overseeing both vendor due diligence (eg financial and tax) and vendor commercial due diligence - including CatSci customer referencing - early in the process in order to deliver the tight timeline.
“Shaw & Co put our needs first by taking complete control over both the debt and equity raise processes."
The significant level of further funding enables CatSci to grow its core business via capability and site expansion, as well as the development of GMP capabilities and the expansion of its offering in oligonucleotide services, thus increasing the workforce and creating scores of local, highly-skilled jobs in South Wales. It will also help fund a new specialist facility elsewhere in the UK as well as the development of the company’s business across the world.
“Shaw & Co put our needs first by taking complete control over both the debt and equity raise processes. Being able to rely on Shaw & Co’s expertise and competence to deliver the financial processes was very important as it enabled us to focus on maintaining the level of company performance expected by our shareholders and investors.”
Dr Simon Tyler, Chief Commercial Officer, CatSci Ltd