As transactions are sensitive strategic processes, names of companies and executives in all MotionHall case studies are anonymized.
Jeff is the experienced CEO of Sequoia Biotech, a promising clinical-stage company. An industry veteran who has been through multiple company financings, he has learned how to create a competitive dynamic including the time and effort that goes into a well-run deal cycle.
Jeff feels motivated to realize the full potential value of the assets in Sequoia’s pipeline, as well as transact on a favorable timeline. And while Jeff has previously worked with bankers and consultants in ways that sometimes led to good results, he was just as often disappointed.
For one simple reason: nobody will care about Sequoia and its patient mission as much as he does.
Jeff believed that if he had more opportunity for involvement in his own deal cycles, even led them personally, he’d have a better outcome. So Jeff resolved to set the banks and consultants to one side and lead Sequoia’s licensing cycle himself.
Industry veteran and current Executive Chairman of Gossamer Bio, Faheem Hasnain, had a similarly formative experience that he detailed at BIO 2017:
“I got a call from our banker; ‘expect to see an offer tomorrow in this really nice range.’” The deal fell through the next day. Hasnain explained the failure:
“The company was a black box to me because I allowed my banker to actually deal with the company.” And he hadn’t formed relationships with the senior officials of the company—people he could have called upon to try and salvage the deal.
Hasnain never made the same mistake again. “It’s all about the relationships,” he said.
Bankers and consultants typically have access to and established relationships with companies. This can have some benefits, but Jeff’s experience to date led him to believe that these companies don’t really transact for relationships. They transact for the value they can understand that aligns to their strategic priorities.
A relationship can be formed by a passionate CEO like Jeff by speaking to the value of his asset in a clear way. MotionHall’s Platform and Strategy Consulting services make it easy for him to achieve this.
The next question for Jeff now that he’s resolved to lead his own process is — how does he open the right doors?
“How do I figure out how to talk to the right people? To bring them the right message to move my deal forward?” Jeff asked.
Jeff’s explorations of OutMatch Professional: Out-Licensing and Sell-Side M&A , gives him a clear picture of the market composition for his licensing deal. By understanding the key attributes of each partner — strategic priorities, pipeline, deals history, scientific synergies, key contacts, marketed portfolio and more — Jeff’s team, with MotionHall’s analysts playing elastic support, determine the right messages for strategic outreach.
To bring his preferred companies the right message, Jeff knew he needed to start reputation building early, many months in advance, and methodically sequence his approaches to both understand the market and drive the competitive dynamic.
“OutMatch has the contextual details I need to understand how to position my asset and navigate a company to ensure the right people understand the value we bring them.” Jeff now approaches his candidates in the most proactive way possible. As he says, “with jobs, dollars, and patients at stake, there’s no room for a half-measured approach.”
The MotionHall analyst team worked with Jeff and the Sequoia team to scale the approach process. “They particularly helped us with precision-tailored presentations and email outreach.”
As Jeff moved through his cycle, he found that with careful tailoring and a thoughtfully-positioned message, building relationships in biopharma was easier than he thought. “The conversations were high-quality, and I will keep many of these relationships for life.”
Jeff had some stressful moments and difficult choices in completing his first self-led deal cycle, but the experience was rewarding in so many ways:
Sequoia drove good deal terms to keep their company in a position to build into the future. Jeff ultimately gave the patients he’s built a career around serving their best chance at a life-changing treatment.
Now that Jeff has gone through this process once, he’ll be expecting to run all his deals personally for Sequoia. This is because he truly understands the value of personal ownership of his relationships and the risk-reduction that his own hand in the process can bring.