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Biopharma company Alvotech to go public in $2.25 bln SPAC deal

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REUTERS/Gary Cameron

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Dec 7 (Reuters) - Biopharmaceutical company Alvotech Holdings SA said on Tuesday it plans to list in New York by merging with a blank-check company backed by Oaktree Capital Management, in a deal that values the combined entity at around $2.25 billion.

The Iceland-based company will receive gross proceeds of $450 million from the deal, including $150 million from a private placement in public equity backed by Temasek, CVC Capital Partners and funds managed by Suvretta Capital among others.

Oaktree Acquisition Corp II (OACB.N), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), raised $225 million through an initial public offering (IPO) in September last year.

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A SPAC is a listed shell company that merges with a private entity to take it public by sidestepping a traditional IPO.

Alvotech is focused on the development and manufacturing of biosimilar medicines, which are biological products similar to or without any clinically meaningful difference with an existing product approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The drugmaker has partnered with pharmaceutical companies in 60 countries and counts Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TEVA.TA) and Germany's Stada among its partners.

The company said it has received license fee commitments of up to $1.15 billion under these partnerships, about 80% of the amount is still to be collected.

Alvotech said in September the FDA had deferred action on its biologics license application for AVT02, its biosimilar for AbbVie Inc's (ABBV.N) arthritis drug, Humira.

AbbVie also filed a lawsuit against Alvotech alleging theft of trade secrets, which was dismissed by a U.S federal judge in October.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of next year, after which the combined company will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol "ALVO."

Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse advised Alvotech on the deal while Deutsche Bank Securities advised the SPAC.

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Reporting by Mehnaz Yasmin and Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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