Bayer is going all in on next-gen stem cell biotech BlueRock, buying out Versant and founders for $600M
After holding a ringside seat watching the growing team at BlueRock build up an advanced preclinical set of regenerative stem cell projects in the pipeline, Bayer wants to own it all.
Bayer execs struck a deal to buy out the 60% of the shares it didn’t already own, paying $240 million in cash and setting up a smorgasbord of $360 million in development milestones on the table while valuing the company at a unicorn-sized billion dollars. The bulk of that cash is earmarked for Versant Ventures, which seeded the company and set up the $225 million launch round in late 2016, with the rest going for stock held by some of the founders.
Now that BlueRock’s staff has been built to 130, with a lead program for Parkinson’s headed to the clinic before the end of this year, the Versant team feels they reached the stage where they needed to either go public and raise a substantial amount of cash, or let a deep-pocket group like Bayer take it forward.
And Bayer is all in.
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