The Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA) Portfolio Company of the Year Award recognizes the effectiveness of private equity financing and the benefits of the partnership between private investors and small businesses. The award has been presented to 40 SBIA-member companies since 1987. Previous award winners include companies that are now household names like Intel, Callaway Golf, Heely’s, McAlister’s Deli, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Build-A-Bear Workshop.
This year’s award winner, Paragon Bioservices, Inc., was selected from a group of highly successful companies from around the country. Paragon is an industry-leading, contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) whose focus is the development and manufacturing of cutting-edge biopharmaceuticals. Paragon partners with the world’s best biotech and pharma companies, focusing on transformative technologies including gene therapies (AAV), next-generation vaccines, oncology immunotherapies (oncolytic viruses and CAR-T cell therapies),and other complex biologics.
Founded in 1990, the Baltimore, MD-based Paragon Bioservices, Inc. received a growth capital investment from private equity investment firms Spring Capital Partners and Eagle Private Capital in August 2018. Each firm invested $9.0 million in a mix of subordinated debt and preferred equity. Paragon used the investment proceeds to fund the build-out of a new facility, allowing the company to hire new employees and sign new contracts with leading gene therapy companies.
In May of 2019, Paragon was acquired by Catalent, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTLT) for $1.2 billion. At the time of its sale, Paragon employed almost 500 people and is on track to employ 900 by the end of the year.
“The buildout of Paragon’s new facility gave the company a ‘first mover advantage’ in terms of winning new business. The facility more than doubled Paragon’s manufacturing footprint and the signing of two large contracts provided validation of this strategy,” said Spring Capital’s Brian McDaid.
During the short duration of their investment Spring and Eagle saw an equity value increase of over 11X representing the greatest value creation the investment firms have ever experienced.
Paragon’s extraordinary growth has brought hundreds of new jobs to Maryland in low income areas of the state. The company has also been recognized with many local awards including Baltimore Business Journal’s #8 of the Fast 50 Company List, 2018 Champion of Maryland Manufacturing from the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland, and 2019 Life Sciences Company of the Year from the Maryland Tech Council. Paragon’s growth has not slowed with new expansions planned for 2020 in Rockville, MD and Gaithersburg, MD to continue to meet industry demand.
About the Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA)
Founded in 1958, The Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA) is the premier organization of lower middle market private equity funds and investors. SBIA works on behalf of its members as a tireless advocate for policies that promote competitive markets and robust domestic investment for growing small businesses. SBIA has been playing a pivotal role in promoting the growth and vitality of the private equity industry for 60 years. For more information, visit www.SBIA.org or call (202) 628-5055.