Posts

Pinsent Masons advises 4D Pharma PLC on innovative move to NASDAQ

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has advised AIM listed biotech company 4D Pharma plc (4D) on its acquisition of Longevity Acquisition Corporation, a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) listed on NASDAQ. Upon completion of the transaction 4D will apply for its American Depositary Shares to be admitted to trading on NASDAQ.

4D, who are leading the development of live biotherapeutic products, are believed to be the first UK biotech to make the move to NASDAQ via the acquisition of a SPAC, breaking new ground for UK listed biotech’s. The Company will also maintain its current listing on AIM.

With 4D acquiring the SPAC in order to inherit its listing on NASDAQ, they are able to by-pass the usual nine month lead-in time foreign issuers have to contend with when seeking a direct listing on NASDAQ.

The Pinsent Masons team was led by Charles Waddell and Sunjay Malhotra with assistance from Julian Stanier, Amy Moore and Nathalie Goetsches; US securities advice was provided by Roberta Markovina and Beatrice Kelly; Eloise Walker, Jamie Robson and Daniel Place assisted on UK tax matters; and Fleur Benns and James Sullivan-Tailyour provided assistance with regards to 4D’s share option plans.

Commenting on the transaction, lead partner at Pinsent Masons Charles Waddell said: “We have enjoyed working with 4D for a number of years, they are at the cutting edge of live biotherapeutic products and this transaction is an important step in their future development and access to key to international markets.

Given the number of European biotech’s that covet a move to NASDAQ, and notwithstanding the complex financing structures of SPACs, this deal highlights that there is an alternative route to the US markets. It is therefore unlikely to be the last biotech we see looking at SPACs to access the deep pool of sophisticated investors in the United States.”

Pinsent Masons advises Royal London on sale of Ascentric

Pinsent Masons has advised Royal London on the sale of its platform business, Ascentric, to M&G plc. Ascentric is a leading digital wrap and wealth management platform for advisers with assets under administration of £14 billion, around 1,500 adviser relationships and over 90,000 underlying customers. It has been part of Royal London since 2007.

The Pinsent Masons’ team acting on the transaction was led by Hannah Brader (Corporate Partner), Emma Dawe (Corporate Senior Associate) and Helen Siviter (Corporate Solicitor) and included Angus McFadyen and Praveeta Thayalan (TMT), Tobin Ashby and Matt Saward (Wealth), Alice Bell (Financial Regulation), Jon Fisher (Employment) and Jamie Robson and Rachel McConnell (Tax).

Commenting on the deal Hannah Brader said: “We are delighted to have worked with Royal London to successfully deliver this strategic disposal, conducted almost entirely during lockdown. This transaction reinforces our position as a leading firm in the wealth sector where we have advised on a number of the most significant recent transactions in the UK platform market, including advising Zurich on the sale of its UK Retail Wealth platform to Embark which completed in May.”