Aspreva Pharmaceuticals Corp. completed, on March 9, 2005, the largest biotech initial public offering in Canadian history. Aspreva is the first Canadian company to complete an initial public offering concurrently in both Canada and the US since 2001. The offering consisted of 8,280,000 common shares at $13.68 per share, resulting in gross proceeds to Aspreva of $113 million. Aspreva's common shares are quoted on the NASDAQ National Market and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Aspreva is based in Victoria, British Columbia, and is an emerging pharmaceutical company focused on identifying, developing and commercializing new indications for approved drugs and drug candidates for underserved patient populations.
The offering was underwritten in the US by a syndicate led by Merrill Lynch & Co., co-led by Banc of America Securities LLC, and co-managed by Pacific Growth Equities, LLC; and in Canada by Merrill Lynch Canada Inc. and BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc.
Aspreva was represented in Canada by Farris LLP with a team led by Hector MacKay-Dunn, Q.C., and included Trevor Scott, Erinn Broshko, Rosanna Tallarico, Jason Sutherland, Tanja Biegler and Charles Pearson (tax); and in the US by Cooley Godward LLP in Palo Alto, California with a team led by Barbara Kosacz and Laura Berezin that included John McKenna, David Riley, Riaz Ladhabhoy, Shane Albright and Mehdi Khodadad.
Brian Waldman, Harvey Yampolsky and Wayne Matelski (regulatory) of Arent Fox PLLC in Washington, DC; Kate Murashige (patent) of Morrison & Foerster LLP in San Diego, California; and Christoph Ramstein (Swiss legal matters) of Pestalozzi Lachenal Patry in Zurich, Switzerland represented Aspreva as special counsel in these specialized areas.
The underwriters were represented in the US by Latham & Watkins LLP in Costa Mesa, California with a team that included Charles Ruck, David Allen, Gavin Stuttard and Michelle Mann (corporate and securities), Larry Stein and Pardis Zomorodi (tax), Carolyne Hathaway, Andrew Gantt and Anthony Casarona (regulatory), and Charles Hoyng and Mona Wang (intellectual property); and in Canada by Torys LLP in Toronto with a team that included Philip Brown, Cheryl Reicin, Kevin Morris and Rafal Nowak (corporate and securities), Ron Nobrega and Andrea Shreeram (tax), and Eileen McMahon (intellectual property and regulatory).