On April 6th, US-based biopharmaceutical company Cephalon, Inc. (NASDAQ: CEPH) acquired all of the outstanding capital stock of Ception Therapeutics, Inc., also a US-based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel products to address areas of unmet medical need, for $250 million.  The transaction resulted from the January 2009 purchase by Cephalon of an option to acquire the Ception stock.  Cephalon heralds the merger as a unique opportunity to expand its biologics pipeline, including the anticipated introduction to the market of CINQUIL™ (reslizumab), which is currently in Phase III studies and is intended to treat eosinophilic asthma. 

In the transaction, Barclays PLC served as financial advisor to Ception and is credited by many with helping to achieve optimal pricing for Ception.  For Ception, like many healthcare companies facing the sale or refinance of their business, finding an investment bank that fits its needs, philosophies and goals was an important component for success.  Utilizing an investment bank is not necessary for all companies in all transactions, but an investment bank can help the seller successfully market the business and attract the right potential investors/buyers and ultimately can result in not only a more lucrative deal but a resulting transaction that otherwise meets the seller’s goals.  Assessing which investment bank is right for a seller can be a daunting process, but there a few key questions the seller can pose to its leadership when evaluating the various banks in order to find the bank that will ultimately meet its needs.  In future posts we will discuss in greater detail these key questions.