Malin-backed US drug firm tipped for €1bn sale

US drug development firm Poseida Therapeutics - of which State-backed investor Malin owns approximately 25% - has been tipped by analysts to fetch €1bn by way of a takeover next year.

San Diego-based Poseida is a clinical trial-stage company working on treatments for various blood-based cancers and solid tumors.

It is one of four priority assets identified by Malin in a simplified investment strategy outlined late last year.

Malin is partly owned by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, with less than 40% of its shares held by retail investors.

Poseida had been tipped to seek an IPO, but Davy said a trade sale of the company is now more probable within the next 12 months.

That assumption is based on the company's clinical trial data continuing to improve. Poseida has announced the raising of $142m (€127m) in private financing, led by pharmaceutical giant Novartis, to further develop its treatments.

"In the event of any such sale, we think Poseida could be worth around €1bn+, with Malin standing to materially benefit given its significant stake," said Davy analyst Andrew Young.

"Malin invested $4m and its stake in Poseida is now approximately 25% [albeit from 33%]. In our estimation, this equates to a modest uplift in the fair value of its Poseida shareholding to around €120m [from €106.5m at the end of 2018]," said Mr Young.

Last November, Malin said it expected to realise significant investment returns on its four main investee firms within the next two years.

Malin's shares rose by nearly 3%.

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