BioNTech raises $250m from Temasek, others via private placement

Source: National Cancer Institute/Unsplash

Nasdaq-listed BioNTech, which is testing a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, said Monday it raised $250 million from Singapore state-owned investment company Temasek Holdings and other accredited investors in a private placement.

“We are pleased to welcome Temasek onboard as a new shareholder. We believe their long-term investment approach, global presence, and deep experience in the biotechnology field are a good fit,” Ugur Sahin, the company’s CEO and co-founder, said in a statement.

The placement included around $139 million in ordinary shares and $112 million in four-year mandatory convertible notes, the company said in the statement.

The private placement investors will get 2.60 million ordinary shares with a 180-day lock-up agreement, while the convertible notes have a 4.5 per cent coupon and a conversion premium of 20 per cent over the reference price, the statement said. The deal is expected to close in August.

BioNTech focuses on patient-specific immunotherapies to treat cancer and infectious diseases; the company is developing multiple mRNA vaccine candidates for infectious diseases.

In May, BioNTech and Pfizer announced they gave the first U.S. participants in a phase 1-2 clinical trial for a vaccine to prevent the COVID-19 virus.

Earlier this month, BioNTech signed a 100 million euro debt financing deal with the European Investment Bank in a move to boost its manufacturing capacity to be able to quickly supply the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Singapore state-owned investment company has targeted multiple biotechnology companies for investments this year.

Temasek’s other biotechnology healthcare investments have included KAHR Medical, an Israeli biopharmaceutical company developing a novel drug platform. The $18 million investment in KAHR Medical, which was made in February, was led by Mirae Asset Venture Investment; Temasek invested via Pavilion Capital.

In March, Temasek led a $70 million round in Shanghai-based Abbisko Therapeutics, which is developing novel cancer therapies.

In April, Temasek-backed Vertex Ventures participated in a $170 million investment round in ElevateBio, a US-based cell and gene therapy firm.

In May, Temasek led a $65 million investment round in SQZ Biotechnologies, a US-based clinical-stage cell therapy company which also is expanding into infectious diseases.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.