Bird & Bird's Corporate Team Advise Imperial College Innovations

16 May 2003

Unique deal secures millions for top rated university

International law firm Bird & Bird, has advised Imperial College Innovations on a partnership which will enable Imperial College to generate a multi-million pound cash sum for the expansion of the University. This is the first time a university has entered into a partnership of this kind.

Investment houses, Fleming Family & Partners Ltd (FF&P) and Gordon House Asset Management Limited (Gordon House) have agreed to buy a 30% stake in a portfolio of 36 Imperial College spin-out companies. This arrangement will generate a multi-million pound cash sum for Imperial College, rated as the UK's top university in The Times’ recent Good University Guide.[1]Money raised will enable the College to expand its existing spin-out development activities and exploitation of intellectual property.

As well as releasing cash for the College, the deal also offers private investors the opportunity to buy into the portfolio of Imperial College spin-outs before they list through funds managed by FF&P and Gordon House. FF&P and Gordon House have also been granted options to purchase interests in further portfolios which may be assembled by Imperial.

The transaction involved a novel legal structure using a limited liability partnership as the holding vehicle for the spin-out companies in which each of Imperial College Innovations Limited, FF&P and Gordon House will participate.

Bird & Bird advised Imperial College Innovations Ltd, the College’s technology transfer arm which put the deal together, on all corporate aspects. The team was led by corporate partner Nicola Maguire.

Commenting Nicola Maguire said:

“Having advised most of the companies which have been spun-out of Imperial College for several years, we were particularly pleased to be involved in this innovative transaction. The deal is a first for the university sector and illustrates the increasing importance of technology transfer activity in generating value for universities. Our understanding of the life sciences and technology sectors as well as the spin-out process was invaluable in getting the deal done."

For more information on this please contact Nicola Maguire on +44 (0) 20 7415 6000 or Larry Cattle, Director of Marketing on 020 7415 6156.


[1] For details on the survey please refer to:
http://www.times-archive.co.uk/onlinespecials/education/main2002.html