SGF announces 17% return on GeneOhm Sciences Inc. shares
Montréal, January 11, 2006 - The Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF) expects a 17% return on the sale of its shares in GeneOhm Sciences Inc. SGF had invested in Infectio Diagnostic Inc. (IDI), a Quebec company that merged with GeneOhm Sciences of California.
SGF will achieve the return upon completion of the sale of GeneOhm Sciences to Becton Dickinson and Co. (BD), a New Jersey firm that sells medical supplies and technologies. The anticipated return hinges on closing the sale, which is expected to take place in the coming months in accordance with the purchase agreement concluded yesterday between GeneOhm Sciences and BD.
SGF had invested $17 million in IDI prior to the company’s 2004 merger with GeneOhm Sciences. Despite its minority stake, SGF went on to make an active contribution to GeneOhm Sciences’ growth strategy.
Founded in 1995 by Dr. Michel Bergeron of the Centre de recherche en infectiologie at Université Laval’s Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, IDI perfected rapid-detection techniques for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Since the merger, the number of the company’s Quebec-based employees has nearly doubled to 135 from 73.
The problem of infectious diseases linked to antibiotic-resistant bacteria contacted in a hospital setting is a growing concern for patient health and creates ever-increasing headaches for medical personnel. The technology perfected by the Quebec City researchers led to the development of two tests now approved by Canadian, American and European authorities for the direct detection of Streptococcus B and Staphylococcus aureus. A new test for screening the C. Difficile bacterium is currently undergoing the approval process. These rapid-screening tests give the victims of these infectious diseases a greater chance of survival.
“SGF is proud to have accompanied GeneOhm Sciences throughout its development to this new crucial juncture,” said André Archimbaud, Senior Vice-President, Investments, Life Sciences Sector, SGF.
“The Life Sciences industry is one of six priority investment areas for SGF,” Mr. Archimbaud added. “Making development capital available so that Quebec technologies can achieve a critical mass to attain market deployment is at the heart of SGF’s investment strategy. We are proud to have been true to our mission in this way.”
The Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF) is an industrial and financial holding company. Its mission is to carry out economic development projects, especially in the industrial sector, in cooperation with partners and in accordance with accepted requirements for profitability and the Government of Quebec’s economic development policy.
Source : Marie-Claude Lemieux
Senior advisor, Communications
Société générale de financement du Québec