According to the folks at Husch Blackwell we’re seeing a growing phenomenon of animal health companies pursuing IPOs. I visited with Jim Ash and Stan Baker last week about this largely unnoticed trend. Husch Blackwell is a national legal firm with a Food & Agribusiness team. They even have a D.V.M. on the staff – Stan Baker!
According to these guys, animal health IPOs didn’t even exist 18 months ago. However, since when Pfizer spun off Zoetis first of last year there have been several more and there are more in the works. Apparently the type of public information provided by a deal like the Zoetis one has helped provide the industry with valuable data to help potential investors gauge the potential value of an investment.
Here are a few reasons they say have caused this increased activity:
- Animal health companies’ valuations have increased
- Increased news coverage of animal health issues
- A belief among investors that the regulatory process for bringing animal health products to market is easier, which is actually incorrect in many instances
- Additional funding needs not met by “angel” investors
- Improving market has led to more companies being willing to step into the space
Husch Blackwell has been involved with two animal health IPOs to date, serving as licensing counsel in one and as regulatory counsel in both. So Stan and Jim have experience to speak about the differences in the filing process that have emerged, including regulatory schemes and the adjustments between human and animal medicine. They say these differences are subtle but extremely important.
Listen to this week’s program here: Animal Health IPOs