Silicon Valley Bank Buys Leerink for $280M

The acquisition will enable to SVB to expand its investment banking services for life sciences companies.
Matthew HellerNovember 14, 2018

The parent of Silicon Valley Bank has agreed to acquire Leerink Partners for $280 million to expand its capital-raising services for the life sciences industry.

SVB is a leader in providing financing for tech startups and many of the most prominent venture capital firms. Under the all-cash deal announced Tuesday, its parent SVB Financial Group will buy the parent of Boston-based Leerink Partners.

As the Boston Business Journal reports, Leerink specializes in helping to guide life sciences companies through major financing rounds and initial public offerings. It also has an equity research arm that covers major drug developers.

“SVB and Leerink share a focus on providing financing and strategic advice at critical stages in a company’s growth and development,” Greg Becker, CEO of Silicon Valley Bank, said in a news release.

“Together, we will deliver a complete capital markets offering — including debt, convertible debt and equity financing — and advisory services — including mergers & acquisitions — for private and public healthcare and life science companies,” he added.

As part of the deal, SVB will also provide a retention pool for employees of $60 million to be paid over five years. Leerink will be renamed SVB Leerink and will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of SVB.

“This merger represents an important step forward for our firm as we continue to strive to be an indispensable company-building partner to our expanding global client base,” Leerink CEO Jeff Leerink said.

According to Endpoints News, Leerink “is right at the crossroads of capital in life sciences, with a group of analysts who are marquee names in biotech.”

“The deal extends SVB’s influence well beyond the banking services that Silicon Valley Bank has become widely known for as the [tech] industry enjoys one of the biggest booms in its history,” the publication added. “And it gives them a much bigger stake in the industry during a big IPO boom.”

Silicon Valley Bank, which opened in 1982 as a basic bank for startups, now offers services to companies in the technology, life science and healthcare, private equity and venture capital, and premium wine industries.