Venture capital : Esquire in the health sector on the French Riviera
Specialized in biotechnologies, the investment fund from Luxembourg focuses on a French Riviera sector which was left behind by information technologies.
The establishment of Esquire at Sophia Antipolis could give energy back to the health and life sciences sectors on the research park, which developed slower than the NTIC sector (New Technologies of Information and Communication). Esquire Capital Holdings SA, which opens an office at the CICA, held by Giuseppe Ferraro, is a venture capital company specialized in biotechnologies and health. Based in Luxembourg, and presided by Gérard Iwema, Esquire was created in April 2000. The company, with about forty shareholders, owns a capital worth 5 million dollars and aims to grow it at 30 million dollars for November 2001 (about 230 million francs).The structure, which was presented during a meeting at the « Maison du Cœur » at Sophia Antipolis, includes a board of directors supported by strategic and scientific committees. Both operate the evaluation and gather experts famous worldwide, some having connections with the research centre (the professor Max Fehlman, R&D manager of Zambon, now member of the strategic committee in Milan or the professor Michel Lazdunski, member of the scientific committee).The company mainly intervenes through the investment in equity capital in non-listed companies and the acquisition of holdings in listed companies. The strategy consists in investing in companies up to 10% maximum of their capital and acquire holdings in private venture capital holdings. In its sector, Esquire is particularly interested in sectors of a high potential growth as the ageing of the population, medical technologies and the genetics.The company in Sophia doesn’t only want to set up on the French Riviera but also in Southern Europe. However, this arrival on the site could favour a growth in a sector which already represents on the French Riviera (pharmacy, biotechnologies, beauty care, perfumery and aromatic industry, chemistry and environment) 12.4 billion francs in turnover, 246 companies and 8,700 people according to the source Sirius (CCI NCA).Thus Esquire would already be in touch with three biotech companies on the French Riviera.ContactGiuseppe Ferraro, CICA, Tel : 04 92 94 20 00; e-mail : email@example.com