The investment in environmentally sustainable technology will help thousands more patients with burned or damaged skin tissue
Reykjavik, Iceland, Billund, Denmark and Arlington, Virginia — July 21, 2022 — Today it was announced that KIRKBI, the family holding and investment company behind the LEGO Group, has led a $100 million financing round for Kerecis®, the company pioneering the use of sustainably sourced fish skin and fatty acids in cellular therapy and tissue regeneration and protection. The funding round was supported by several existing shareholders, including the Emerson Collective and the Icelandic pension funds BRU and LSV. The funding round also included conversion of existing convertible debt to equity and new and extended debt facilities.
The funding round will accelerate the company’s growth and development of the next generations of its patented medical-fish-skin products sourced from sustainable fishing grounds near the Arctic Circle. KIRKBI, a first-time investor in Kerecis, invested $40 million in cash in exchange for newly issued Kerecis shares. Co-investors contributed an additional $20 million in cash for newly issued shares; $10 million of existing convertible promissory notes were converted into equity; and Silicon Valley Bank provided an extension and increase of the company´s existing revolving credit facility to $30 million. Following the investment round, the valuation of Kerecis is US$620 million.
“Kerecis is a highly innovative company that has built a successful business transforming waste material into unique medical products,” said Niklas Sjöblom, Senior Director, Long-Term Equity, KIRKBI. “We are particularly inspired by the company’s approach to sustainability, as we are responsible investors and owners. We are excited to support the company’s continued growth and strategic objectives to improve patient outcomes”.
“This funding and new partnership with KIRKBI is a great step forward for Kerecis, and we are truly motivated by the investment KIRKBI and the other participants are making,” said Fertram Sigurjonsson, Founder and CEO of Kerecis. “As we continue to grow, we will be able to help thousands more patients around the world with our sustainably sourced products. It is our mission to become the world leader in tissue regeneration by sustainably harnessing nature’s own remedies,” he added.
Kerecis’s year-over-year growth has been exceptional in recent years, with revenues doubling annually. The company’s revenue in calendar year 2021 was $35 million, and this year’s revenue is expected to be more than twice that. The company’s medical-fish-skin products have proven crucial in improving patients’ well-being and quality of life. Revenue derives mainly from sales in three distinct market segments: private offices and wound centers that treat diabetic and other chronic wounds, burn centers, and hospital operating rooms. Sales across all three segments have increased over the past year with new product offerings, increased demand, and strategic sales efforts.
Kerecis develops products from fish skin and fatty acids for cellular therapy, tissue regeneration and protection. When grafted onto damaged human tissue or implanted, the patented material recruits the body’s own cells and ultimately is converted into living tissue. Because no disease-transfer risk exists between cold-water fish and humans, the Kerecis fish skin is only gently processed and retains its similarity to human tissue. The gentle processing preserves the skin’s original three-dimensional structure, maintaining its inherent natural strength, complexity and molecules (such as fatty acids). Clinical studies have found that the Kerecis products heal wounds faster than competing products. Kerecis is the only approved manufacturer of medical devices containing intact fish skin globally. It is the fastest-growing and one of the top six in the U.S. biologics-skin and dermal-substitute market, according to SmartTRAK Business Intelligence. Kerecis’s expanding product portfolio includes MariGen®, which is sold to private offices and wound centers to treat diabetic and other chronic wounds; GraftGuide®, which is mostly sold to burn centers; and SurgiBind®/SurgiClose®, which are used for reconstructive surgery in operating rooms. Kerecis is committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The fish skin used in Kerecis products derives from wild and sustainable fish stock caught in pristine Icelandic waters and processed with 100% renewable energy in the town of Isafjordur, close to the Arctic Circle. For more information, visit https://www.kerecis.com.
KIRKBI A/S is the Kirk Kristiansen family’s private holding and investment company founded to build a sustainable future for the family ownership of the LEGO® brand through generations. Our work is focused on three fundamental tasks all contributing to enabling the Kirk Kristiansen family to succeed with the mission to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow: We work to protect, develop and leverage the LEGO brand across all the LEGO branded entities. We are committed to a long-term and responsible investment strategy to ensure a sound financial foundation for the owner family’s activities as well as contributing to a sustainable development in the world. We are dedicated to supporting the family members as they prepare for future generations to continue the active and engaged ownership as well as supporting their private activities, companies and philanthropic work. KIRKBI’s strategic activities include 75% ownership of the LEGO Group and 47.5% ownership of Merlin Entertainments. The company’s investment activities also include investments in renewable energy, significant long-term investments in companies such as ISS, Nilfisk, Falck, Armacell, Välinge and Landis+Gyr as well as real estate investments in Denmark, Switzerland, Germany and the UK. See www.KIRKBI.com
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