J&J completes $159m ColBar acquisition

ColBar LifeScience's investors include Clal Biotechnology, Evergreen, Genesis, Pitango, Israel Healthcare Ventures and Vitalife.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) notified the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday that it acquired ColBar LifeScience Ltd. through the OrthoNeutrogena division of its Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc. unit. Johnson & Johnson did not disclose the size of the deal, but it was reportedly $159 million.

Johnson & Johnson said it would take a related after-tax charge of $50 million, or $0.02 per share.

ColBar was founded in 1995 by Prof. Sandu Pitaru and Prof. Haim Tal of Tel Aviv University. The company is headquartered in Herzliya and has a production facility in Rehovot. Its product is based on artificial collagen matrices for use in implants instead of live tissue. Led by CEO Itay Itzahky, the company’s management focuses on the booming anti-aging market.

Johnson & Johnson paid $109 million of the sale price immediately, and the balance will be paid in a few weeks. Sources inform ''Globes'' that Johnson & Johnson intends to invest tens of millions of dollars, and possibly more, in ColBar’s activity, and at least double its staff. ColBar’s production facility will stay in Rehovot.

ColBar has raised $30 million to date. Evergreen Venture Partners is the largest shareholder in the company. Other shareholders are Pitango Venture Capital, Genesis Partners, Clal Biotechnology Industries Ltd. (CBI), Israel Healthcare Ventures Ltd., and Vitalife Life Sciences Venture. The investors can expect a four-fold return on their investment.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on July 12, 2006

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2006

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