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SVB Financial buying healthcare i-bank Leerink

California-based bank SVB Financial Group is buying Leerink Holdings LLC for $280 million in upfront cash.

SVB will also provide a retention pool for employees of $60 million to be paid over five years.

Leerink Holdings is the parent of Leerink Partners LLC, a healthcare and life science-focused investment bank based in Boston. The new company, SVB Leerink, will be a wholly owned unit of SVB Financial. Leerink Partners' leadership will continue to run the business largely in the same capacity as it does now. Leerink Partners Chairman and CEO Jeff Leerink will serve as SVB Leerink's CEO. James Boylan, president and head of investment banking at Leerink Partners, will serve in that role at SVB Leerink.

The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2019.

Keefe Bruyette & Woods acted as SVB's financial adviser, and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP acted as legal counsel. For Leerink, Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP was financial adviser, and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP was legal counsel.