12:00 AM
 | 
Oct 13, 2008
 |  BioCentury  |  Finance

Europe Unfortuitous Circumstances

Unprecedented interventions by the Dutch and Belgian governments to save Fortis SA/NV, once one of Europe's 10 largest financial institutions, will force the bank's healthcare team to rebuild its business outside the Netherlands.

Despite the dramatic ownership change, Maurice Laudy, who heads the bank's European healthcare investment banking activities, told BioCentury the rump firm plans to continue it international biotech business even if, in the short term, its reach will be curtailed by the way the bailout split the bank's operations.

Laudy's plans echo what U.S. investment bankers have been saying since Lehman Brothers failed and Merrill Lynch was forced to sell itself: biotech bankers plan to stay in the space, even if they have to start new banks or rebuild old ones out of the ashes.

Fortis had been one of Europe's most active biobankers, involved in more than 20 fundraising transactions in Europe and the U.S. since 2005 worth more than $1.2 billion. The bank hadn't done any deals this year(see "Fortis Financings").

Fortis' status was undermined in part by its ill-timed participation in a consortium - involving the Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander - that acquired...

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