BB Biotech Jumps As Elliott Management Increases Stake

Jan 7 2015 | 9:22am ET

By Jan-Henrik Förster (Bloomberg) -- BB Biotech AG, a Swiss health-industry investment fund, jumped the most in more than two years after billionaire Paul Singer increased his stake in the company, one of the best-performing stocks in Europe last year.

Singer, who runs hedge-fund firm Elliott Management, raised his stake in the Kuesnacht, Switzerland-based company to 5.47 percent as of Dec. 23 from 3.11 percent previously, according to a filing at Swiss Six Exchange. Singer is known in Switzerland for his attempt to replace Actelion Ltd.’s board and seek a buyer for that company in 2011.

“The increase is a positive signal to the market,” said Navid Malik, an analyst at Cenkos Securities. He has a buy recommendation on the stock. “We expect a spectacular year for small and midcap biotechs, and BB Biotech will have exposure to this.”

BB Biotech’s holdings included shares in Actelion and Celgene Corp. as of the end of September. The stock has gained about nine-fold since Switzerland’s Bank am Bellevue listed the biotechnology fund on the stock exchange in 1993.

The shares rose 68 percent last year, making the company the seventh best-performer in the Stoxx 600 index. The stock rose as much as 7.2 percent today and traded 4.1 percent higher as of 12:31 p.m. in Zurich, giving a market value of 3 billion Swiss francs ($3 billion).

BB Biotech didn’t provide a comment when asked about Singer’s reasons for raising his stake.

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