Phoenix agrees the sale of Sygnature Discovery

Phoenix is pleased to announce that it has agreed the sale of its shareholding in Sygnature Discovery (“Sygnature” or “the Company”) to Five Arrows Principal Investments, the European private equity arm of Rothschild & Co. The sale of Sygnature delivers a strong return for investors in Phoenix’s 2016 Fund and marks Phoenix’s fourth exit this year.

Sygnature is a world-class provider of outsourced drug discovery services to leading pharma and biotech companies. The Company operates from two state-of-the-art science facilities in the UK, at BioCity in Nottingham and Alderley Park in Cheshire, employing over 450 staff, most of whom are PhD-level scientists. Additionally, the company has a presence in both the Boston area and South San Francisco in the US. Sygnature provides integrated drug discovery and preclinical services to clients across eight key therapeutic areas, including oncology, neuroscience, and inflammation & immunology, and has an outstanding track record of scientific excellence.

Phoenix partnered with Sygnature’s management team, led by founder and CEO Simon Hirst, in 2017 to support the Company’s continued development against the backdrop of a global, high-growth market for outsourced drug discovery services. Phoenix supported the team in opening a second site, completing three strategic acquisitions, making a number of senior hires, and investing in new scientific services and therapeutic areas. During this period, the Company grew substantially, with employees more than doubling and profits increasing threefold.

Simon Hirst, CEO of Sygnature, said: “We are extremely proud of what we have achieved to date at Sygnature, and are committed to remaining at the forefront of leading-edge research in drug discovery. Our partnership with the Phoenix team has been invaluable; they shared our ambitions for the Company and were instrumental in helping us with our acquisition strategy. We are delighted to welcome Five Arrows as a shareholder alongside the Sygnature team and are excited about what the future holds for our Company.”

Kevin Keck and Barry Robinson, Partners at Phoenix, commented: “It has been a pleasure to partner with the Sygnature team and to support the Company’s strong track record of growth. Sygnature is an exceptional business with a fantastic culture, committed to providing a world-class service to its clients. We have no doubt that Sygnature will continue to prosper, and we wish the team and Five Arrows every success in the years to come.”