Tuesday, January 06, 2009

CIRM's $500 Million Loan Program: Lucrative Contract Looms

The California stem cell agency is seeking advice on its plan to have an outside contractor run a $500 million biotech lending program, and Friday is the deadline.

The information will play a key role in creating a potentially lucrative contract to administer the seven- to 10-year program for the $3 billion agency.

Banks, delegated underwriters and other financial service providers with an interest would be well-advised to weigh in with suggestions. The "request for information," however, is not limited to potential bidders but also solicits comments from "others with relevant experience or information."

CIRM is seeking information concerning the scope of services, models for relationships between "financial services providers/delegated underwriters" and CIRM, compensation structure and conflicts of interests.

CIRM is considering three possible models for the contractor:
"...a delegated underwriter model (delegated underwriter advances its own funds with CIRM guarantee), a hybrid model (delegated underwriter advances its own funds, but CIRM provides cash as collateral), and a fee for services model (CIRM originates loan and advances funds and pays financial services provider a fee for services)."
The stem cell agency states that its staff
"...does not have the internal expertise or capacity to manage all of the financial components of a loan program. CIRM therefore plans to externalize these tasks while maintaining ultimate control over the loan program. To ensure that CIRM obtains this expertise at the best value to California taxpayers, CIRM plans to issue a request for proposals to select two to three financial services providers/delegated underwriters. Because this is a start-up program, it is important to have at least two delegated underwriters at the outset. This would permit CIRM to learn from their different approaches and to refine our best practices. Furthermore, it would permit CIRM to transfer future transactions to another delegated underwriter if the relationship with one of the contractors is unsuccessful."
In February, CIRM plans to seek bids from potential contractors. The loan program is scheduled to begin this spring. Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

  1. This blog is a great resource. Hopefully we will be able to use stem cells in the US in the near future.