Bird & Bird law firm advised Indian vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd (part of Cyrus Poonawalla Group) on the sale of Czech unit, Praha Vaccines a.s., to Novavax AB, subsidiary of Novavax Inc, US based, Nasdaq-listed biotechnology company developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases. The aggregate purchase price of EUR 167m makes this deal the largest M&A transaction so far on the Czech market in 2020.
The sale includes associated assets (150 000-sq ft vaccine and biologics manufacturing facility) in the Czech Republic. Novavax is one of the companies aiming to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by the new coronavirus, and has been looking to boost capacity to produce its vaccine candidate. The company stated that the Czech facility is likely to provide an annual capacity of more than 1 billion doses of antigen starting in 2021. About 150 employees of Praha Vaccines with significant experience in vaccine manufacturing have joined Novavax.
The transaction was led by Bird & Bird Czech M&A team comprising of Ivan Sagál, Partner, Ľubomír Brečka, Associate and Martina Kopcová, Associate. This core team was supported by Stefanie Orttmann, Partner from the Bird & Bird Dusseldorf life sciences team during the process of transaction negotiations and also by Neil Blundell Partner from Bird & Bird London corporate team and Samrad Nazer Partner from the Bird & Bird London finance team.
Serum Institute is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses produced. It sells more than 1.5 billion vaccines doses a year.