Cognate Completes Management Buyout and Raises Growth Capital

BALTIMORE & MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Cognate BioServices, a leading contract development and manufacturing organization (“CDMO”) in the global cellular therapies industry, announced today it has completed a management buyout (“MBO”) and raised capital from a group of global investment firms including Santa Monica, Calif.-based Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC (“TCP”), Medivate Partners and affiliates (“Medivate”) based in Seoul, South Korea and a sovereign wealth fund.

“As an early investor in Cognate, we are very excited to expand our partnership with the company,” said Dan Worrell, Managing Director of TCP. “For the past two decades, TCP’s healthcare strategy has focused on investing in companies that improve healthcare by lowering costs or facilitating improved patient access and outcomes. Cognate provides critical cost-effective support to small, medium, and large biotech companies on the forefront of personalized medicine. We are pleased to continue our participation in funding their growth and expansion.”

With a successful track record in manufacturing products for innovative therapeutic drugs in oncology and regenerative medicine (on behalf of its clients and partners), Cognate is one of the only CDMOs capable of handling the personalized products that are being approved by regulators today. The company recently opened up new manufacturing capacity to support products for both the E.U. and the U.S. in Memphis, Tennessee, and is well on its way to being able to support commercial scale production. The transaction includes significant growth capital to accelerate Cognate’s second phase of commercial expansion that began in 2015.

“This transaction is the culmination of years of planning and execution on the part of our highly collaborative and dedicated team with committed investors who came together to make this a reality,” according to J. Kelly Ganjei, CEO of Cognate BioServices, Inc. “We are excited to have completed the second phase of our growth strategy and look forward to further demonstrating our compelling and unique value proposition to the cell therapy market.”

The MBO and capital raise will accelerate Cognate’s commercial activities for clients and prospects, secure the company’s future as a leading CDMO in the emerging cellular therapies space and provide a clear path to commercialization.

“Our investment was driven by a combination of the tremendous opportunity in personalized cell therapy manufacturing and our confidence in the strong management team at Cognate,” said Medivate’s Managing Partner Roger Kang. “We are very excited to be a part of this syndicate and look forward to being part of their continued growth.”

About Cognate BioServices

Cognate BioServices is a fully-integrated contract bioservices organization providing the highest level of scientific and management expertise. Cognate provides full development and cGMP manufacturing services to companies and institutions engaged in the development and manufacture of cell-based products. The combination of highly experienced staff, successful track records and cGMP facilities makes Cognate one of the most qualified contract manufacturers of cell-based products in the world today.

About Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC

Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC ("TCP") is an alternative investment management firm with approximately $9 billion of committed capital focused on direct lending and special situations for middle-market companies. TCP manages funds and accounts on behalf of global institutional investors. Since its founding in 1999, TCP has invested approximately $19 billion in over 500 companies. TCP is headquartered in Los Angeles with additional offices in Atlanta, New York and San Francisco. For more information, please visit: and

About Medivate Partners

Medivate, is a private equity and venture capital firm that focuses investment in biotech/healthcare industry in Asia and North America. The firm is well positioned to capture surging healthcare investment opportunities between Asia and North America, and looks to arbitrage the unique cross border investment advantages. While closing its third fund, Medivate Partners quickly built a reputation for providing inner circle access to top caliber syndicates and successful life science deals in Asia and North America.


For Cognate BioServices
Elasticity for Cognate BioServices
Aaron Perlut, 314-800-7218
For Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC
Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC
Katie McGlynn, 310-899-4948
Financial Profiles
Tricia Ross, 310-622-8226



Source: Cognate BioServices

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