Drug firm Malin scraps plans for dual London listing

By Geoff Percival

State-backed drug development investment firm Malin has scrapped plans to seek a secondary stock market listing in London.

Updating analysts on its strategy, during a capital markets day in London yesterday, Malin’s management team — led by executive chairman Ian Curley and chief financial officer Darragh Lyons — said it expects to realise significant investment returns on its four main investee firms, two of which are closing in on full commercialisation status, within the next two years.

They said that an element of that investment profit will be returned to shareholders and the rest will be used for new investments. Malin is keen to invest in further drug development firms in the oncology and genetic disease treatment areas.

The company currently has investments in 18 drug research firms and it will continue to invest — on a lower level — in its 14 less-developed interests.

Malin is partly owned by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and UK-based fund manager Woodford Investment Managers, with less than 40% of its shares held by retail investors.

Malin significantly overhauled its board during the summer and former chief executive Adrian Howd left last month.

Mr Curley, the former finance director of paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa and a previous CEO of glass and metal packaging group Ardagh, was drafted in as part of that management reshuffle.

He said Malin’s management structure will be remodelled and led by a new investment team, headed up by a chief investment officer who will be recruited within the next year.

Back in March, Malin’s previous management said it was looking to take a second share listing — with the London Stock Exchange the preferred location — in a bid to widen its investor base.

However, yesterday Mr Lyons said the company’s existing listing in Dublin will suffice and that no secondary listing is currently being considered.

“Malin is sharpening its strategic focus. It has simplified its strategy to focus on four priority assets that hold considerable upside, and the leaner structure provides a longer operational runway,” said Davy’s Andrew Young.

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