Marketing assets

Rich Lister Dennis Bastas seizes Farmaforce asset from failing biotech group iQ Group

“I had already thought about and planned to expand our services because we have half a dozen or more of the biggest multinational corporations partnering with us,” Bastas said. AF weekend.

“We sell the majority of products for AstraZeneca, GSK and MSD on the pharmacy side. I wanted to start looking for new drugs to bring to market, which means we need to be able to engage with doctors and market specialists, not just the pharmacy. I thought it was the perfect business for me as a platform to evolve into our next generation of products and services. »

Mr Bastas acted quickly – saving more than 50 jobs – as he did not want staff to leave or contracts to be dissolved.

Last year, Farmaforce, the ASX-listed contracting firm, signed an agreement to collaborate with private equity-backed iNova Pharmaceuticals for two years.

Administrator Mr Resnick said Farmaforce had successfully negotiated through the administrative process and the sale was at “fair value”. The proceeds would repay the debts of priority unsecured creditors, such as Farmaforce staff, and hopefully provide a dividend for Farmaforce’s general creditors, he said.

The sale of Farmaforce does not include the publicly traded shell, just the business. The shell is one of the group’s potential assets for sale.

The company is the second-largest player in medical engagement after bigger rival Hahn Healthcare, which was acquired by Zurich-based DKSH Holdings a year ago.

Farmaforce was one of four listed entities that went into administration and were part of iQ Group Global. It was the only one to generate substantial outside revenue – raking in more than $11.6 million in contract sales and marketing services fees last year.

It posted a loss of $980,000, but management argued that its underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were in the black at $1.2 million.

The other three entities were iQ Group Global Ltd, listed on the NSX; iQX, the group’s fund management company, listed on the NSX; and iQ3, listed on the ASX, the group’s corporate finance arm.

The group has also looked at inventions in biosensor testing and cancer treatments, but has also taken unorthodox moves such as sponsoring Bathurst race cars and even suing an analyst who raised questions about the practices.

The group’s entities have raised eyebrows yet again by promoting fixed-income notes offering returns of up to 15% a year in a traditionally risky industry not known for its steady quarterly returns.

Of the iQ Group companies’ creditors, potentially $25 million comes from investors who raised money through corporate bonds. But shareholders of the group’s entities, which once had a combined market capitalization of nearly $200 million, face a potentially bleaker outlook because they are not traditionally creditors.

However, the largest investor in Farmaforce, which listed on the ASX in 2015, was NSX-listed iQ Group Global Ltd with 69% of the shares. And in another example of the interlocking nature of the group, iQ Group Global Ltd owed $2.3 million to Farmaforce, according to its latest published accounts.