Drug support firm Malin on fresh hunt for new CEO

By Geoff Percival

The chief executive of Malin Corporation is to leave the company a year after taking the job. The State-backed investment company is active in the drug development and life sciences sectors. Adrian Howd, who stepped up from being Malin’s chief investment officer to become CEO last October, will leave the company on October 26.

Former finance chief of paper and packaging company Smurfit Kappa Ian Curley and a previous CEO of glass packaging group Ardagh was drafted in as Malin’s non-executive chairman as part of a significant overhaul of the company’s board.

He will now become executive chairman until a permanent CEO is found. Malin is partially backed by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, which invested €50m in it when it floated on the Irish Stock Exchange in 2015. The State has made a loss of more than 50% on that investment, based on Malin’s share price of €4.86.

The company raised around €330m from what was seen as one of the biggest ever biotech sector flotations in Europe. Malin has been affected by setbacks for certain investee firms but last month said the value of its portfolio had risen to €402m thanks to the performance of its core investments.

However, investors have been concerned over group strategy and rising operating costs, including executive pay. The group’s new board has been reviewing the company’s strategy for the past three months and is due to update at a capital markets day in London next month.

Mr Curley said the company will recruit a new chief executive after it has made progress on closing the gap between “the intrinsic value of our assets and our share price”.

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