NIBC’ finances Bilthoven Biologicals

Corporate News -

Former state-owned company Bilthoven Biologicals B.V. (BBio) has been part of the Serum Institute of India group of companies since 2012. The Serum Institute is the largest vaccine producer in the world and its products are used by international health agencies such as the WHO, UNICEF, PAHO and in more than 140 countries across the globe.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has successfully been raising funds for its program to eradicate polio from the world within the next ten years, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation one of the program’s largest sponsors. BBio is one of the three main producers of polio vaccines in the world. In March 2014, BBio and Serum Institute of India received an order from UNICEF for 150 million polio vaccinations for the WHO’s Global Polio Eradication initiative.

When BBio – formerly known as NederlandsVaccinInstituut – was privatized in 2012 (sold to the Serum Institute of India), the Dutch Ministry of Health and Sport retained ownership of the Antonie van Leeuwenhoekterrein in Bilthoven, a 225,000 m2 production location, with 66 buildings and 15 infrastructure networks, devoted to companies in the Life Sciences sector. In late 2013, BBio signed a provisional contract with the owner of the site, the Dutch Ministry of Health and Sports, agreeing to buy the life sciences park. The agreement was conditional on BBio finding the financing for the deal before 1 March 2014, when the option to buy expired.

Under the deal, several government agencies such as the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), IntraVacc and Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), will remain as paying tenants for a limited period, after which BBio will be free to use or lease out the vacant space.

BBio approached a number of banks, including NIBC, to arrange the financing for the deal.

The solution
NIBC Commercial Real Estate (CRE) was able to convince BBio that NIBC had the knowledge and ability to meet the required deadlines. True to its word, NIBC helped complete the financing for the deal in time for BBio to sign the final sale contract on 14 February, two weeks before the 1 March deadline. “The timing played a crucial part in the client’s decision. The smooth approval and closing of this complex transaction in just seven weeks were only possible thanks to our close cooperation with several internal departments, who worked with us to devise creative solutions for the hurdles we encountered along the way”, says CRE’s Arthur de Bos and Daan van der Ree.

The acquisition of the life sciences park gives the Serum Institute of India a strong foothold in Europe and is fully in line with the strategy of BBio and the Serum Institute of India to expand the production of vaccines, especially polio vaccines, in the coming years.

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