BELLEVILLE, ON, May 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: BNC) (ASX: BNC), a research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has engaged U.S.-based Evercore Partners (Evercore) to assist the Board of Directors and management in its divestment of the Animal Health business. Evercore is a leading independent advisory firm in the U.S. that specializes in merger and acquisition transactions, divestitures and restructurings.
This decision to divest the Animal Health business was taken following several months of discussion between the Board of Directors and management related to unlocking corporate value for the benefit of all shareholders, and following the receipt of several unsolicited offers to purchase the business.
"Three large Animal Health companies have now expressed interest, in writing, in executing a purchase of the Company's Animal Health business," said Mr. James Rae, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. "Evercore's track record in successfully negotiating such transactions and its extensive network of contacts in the animal health industry make it an ideal firm to lead this exercise."
The Company has successfully built its Animal Health business over 34 years to the point where it is profitable before research and development, with a successful mix of products primarily in livestock reproduction, immunotherapeutics, equine performance, and companion animals. The Bioniche brand of products and its infrastructure have been highly regarded for many years, and the Company is regularly approached by other animal health companies seeking to enhance their own offerings by way of partnership or acquisition of Bioniche assets.As Evercore leads its work on the Animal Health side of the business, the Company is actively engaged in discussions with potential partners for its Phase III bladder cancer product, Urocidin™, which will unlock value for the Company's Bioniche Therapeutics Corp. subsidiary . Since learning that the Company was regaining the global rights to Urocidin™, more than 30 companies have expressed an interest in marketing the product, and discussions with these companies are at various stages. Such partnership arrangements generally include up-front and milestone payments, as well as financial support for development costs to offset additional clinical trial work that the Company is required to complete for successful commercialization of Urocidin™. In recent weeks, a preliminary equity investment offer and a preliminary licensing offer have been received in relations to Bioniche Therapeutics Corp. and Urocidin™ respectively. With regard to Bioniche One Health and the Company's Animal Health and Food Safety Vaccine Manufacturing Centre in Belleville, the Company has had preliminary discussions with companies that have an interest in potential partnerships around Econiche®, the E. coli O157 cattle vaccine and around manufacturing capacity in the Vaccine Manufacturing Centre (VMC). About Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. is a research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, manufacturing, and marketing of proprietary and innovative products for human and animal health markets worldwide. The fully-integrated company employs more than 200 skilled personnel and has three operating divisions: Human Health, Animal Health, and Food Safety. The Company's primary goal is to develop and commercialize products that advance human or animal health and increase shareholder value.