Nabarros in Genpak biotech deal

Nabarro Nathanson has clinched a biotechnology deal for Genpak through its involvement with a venture capitalist workshop, dubbed Venturefest.

The workshop, held at Oxford Brookes University, brings together venture capitalists, business angels and fledgling businesses, and it was through this that the firm was introduced to Genpak.

Genpak is a manufacturer of reagents for use in genetic research and manufacture, and distributes specialist machinery for use in DNA research. Nabarros advised it on its recent purchase by Genetix Group for an undisclosed sum.

The firm was instructed in July on the deal, and the biosciences team there was led by partners Charles Reynard and Jim Kinnier-Wilson. Intellectual property (IP) partner Kinnier-Wilson scooped the work, but corporate partner Reynard did the transaction out of Sheffield in a bid to cut costs.

Kinnier-Wilson says: “I was concerned to make sure that our work was done for them as cost effectively as possible. There was quite a lot of time pressure because, although we were first instructed in July, everyone then went away for a month, so we had to get the US and UK due diligence completed in about four weeks, and the UK tax position had to be dealt with quite quickly too.”

Genetix Group, the acquirer of Genpak, was instructed by Olswang, but despite advising the company being taken over, Nabarros had an ongoing role advising shareholders on the warranties involved in the prospectus for the impending float of the joint company.

The firm pulled in lawyers to advise on the IP, tax, employment, real estate, health and safety, environment and regulatory aspects of the deal.

The Genpak transaction is the fourth significant biotechnology transaction for the group, which already acts for clients which include techMARK-listed Whatman, which is involved in work relating to DNA, and the QTP investment fund, which focuses on high-tech and biotechnology companies.