Baird Capital Partners Asia Closes First Investment
Investment in Frontage Laboratories, Inc. demonstrates the strength and differentiation of Baird’s investment platform in Asia
CHICAGO, April 23, 2008
Baird Capital Partners Asia (BCPA), the Greater China-focused investment group of Baird Private Equity, announced today it has completed its first investment, providing $10 million of growth equity capital along with other investors to Frontage Laboratories, Inc. (Frontage). Frontage is a leading U.S. - China Contract Research Organization (“CRO”) that provides research services to facilitate pharmaceutical discovery, development and commercialization for large and emerging pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The Company has facilities in Pennsylvania (Malvern and Exton) and in China (Shanghai).
Frontage assists its clients with resolving complex product development issues and advancing drug candidates through preclinical and clinical development stages to commercialization, drawing on its expertise in pharmaceutical analysis; bioanalytical research and testing formulation development; custom synthesis of investigational compounds; and clinical materials manufacturing and packaging.
Frontage’s experienced management team and talented scientific staff have made significant contributions to large and emerging pharmaceutical companies in drug discovery research, development and commercialization. In 2007, this team’s accomplishments and the Company’s stable growth earned Frontage a ranking as one of the top 20 fastest growing companies in the Greater Philadelphia area on the “Philadelphia 100” list published annually by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Today, Frontage serves four of the top ten largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
“Our capabilities in China and the U.S. position us well to serve large multinational pharmaceutical companies as well as small- to mid-sized companies,” said Dr. Song Li Founder and CEO of Frontage Laboratories. “BCPA’s capital, resources and relationships will help us not only accelerate our growth, but also help Frontage expand its service offerings and continue to provide high quality, low cost services to our customers in both China and the U.S.”
“When looking for a private equity partner, we knew we needed an investor that understood both the Chinese and U.S. markets but also brought operational value and industry knowledge to our company. We found that in BCPA,” Dr. Li added.
BCPA provides growth equity capital to smaller, high-potential companies that have substantial operations and growth opportunities in Greater China. Leveraging Baird’s global capabilities focused on the smaller end of the middle market, BCPA invests in companies domiciled both in and outside of Greater China. BCPA also is supported by Baird Private Equity’s team of more than 20 operating professionals in China and India who have helped a number of Baird Private Equity portfolio companies create value through sourcing, manufacturing or distributing in Asia.
“Frontage is the perfect type of business that we are looking to partner with through our Asian investment group,” said Brett Tucker, BCPA Partner. “Our operating capabilities and capital will allow Frontage to finance its growth in China. We look forward to working with Song and the team to build upon their past success and in creating a leading, world class U.S. – China CRO.”
“Dr. Song Li and the Frontage team have built an impressive, customer focused organization that serves customers in the US, Europe, Japan and China,” said Gregg Fergus, Operating Partner for Baird Private Equity. “We have extensive networking and operating resources to help Frontage grow, and we believe that Frontage is uniquely positioned to capitalize upon this growth.”
Brett Tucker and Gregg Fergus will join the Frontage board of directors as part of this transaction.
Pavilion Capital Partners, existing individual shareholders and members of management also invested in the transaction.
About Frontage Laboratories, Inc.
Frontage Laboratories, Inc. is a rapidly expanding pharmaceutical R&D services company located in the greater Philadelphia, PA area and Shanghai, P.R. China. Recognizing the importance of developing cost-effective and efficacious pharmaceutical treatments, Frontage collaborates with clients to discover and develop new cures and healthcare advances. In addition, leading pharmaceutical companies call on Frontage to solve complex development issues and advance their pharmaceutical products through FDA approval. Frontage provides support in the following areas: GMP synthesis of investigational chemical entities (including route selection and scale-up), Preclinical studies and bioanalysis, Phase I – IV clinical trial services and bioanalytical support, Biomarker research and clinical testing, GMP/GLP pharmaceutical analysis (including raw material and finished product release, stability studies and regulatory support), formulation development in preclinical, clinical and commercial stages, clinical materials manufacture and packaging, as well as GMP consulting and regulatory filing.
About Baird Capital Partners Asia
Baird Capital Partners Asia, the China-focused investment group of Baird Private Equity, provides growth equity capital to smaller, high-potential companies with substantial operations and growth opportunities in Greater China. Baird Capital Partners Asia leverages its in-depth sector knowledge, experienced investment team and extensive operating resources to drive value in its portfolio companies. Baird Capital Partners Asia has representative offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai, and invests in three industry sectors: manufactured products, business services and healthcare. For more information, please visit www.bairdcapitalpartnersasia.com.
About Baird Private Equity
Baird Private Equity, the global private equity group affiliated with Robert W. Baird & Co. (Baird), makes venture capital, growth equity and buyout investments in smaller, high potential companies in the United States through Baird Venture Partners and Baird Capital Partners, in Greater China through Baird Capital Partners Asia, and in Europe through Baird Capital Partners Europe and Granville Baird, an affiliated fund manager that invests in Germany. Baird Private Equity has a global team of 80 professionals in nine offices across the United States, Europe and Asia, including over 20 operating professionals in Asia. Baird Private Equity and its affiliates have raised and managed approximately $2.4 billion in capital and invested in over 220 companies since the 1980s. For more information, please visit www.bairdprivateequity.com.