[THE INVESTOR] Celltrion Healthcare is set to go public next month in what could be the country’s second biggest biotech initial public offering after clearing regulatory hurdles.
The marketing unit of Celltrion seeks to raise up to 1 trillion won (US$871 million), the second largest offering following Samsung BioLogics' 2.27 trillion won IPO in November last year.
Celltrion in Songdo, Incheon Park Hyun-koo/The Investor
The company plans to list on the tech-laden KOSDAQ market in April as the Korea Exchange gave it the green light on March 14.
The targeted amount is based on an indicative price range of 33,300 won to 41,000 won per share that would value the company at 3.7 trillion won to 4.6 trillion won.
The April IPO will exclude secondary shares from existing shareholders, including Celltrion founder and Chairman Seo Jung-jin who holds a 44.5 percent stake in Celltrion Healthcare, One Equity Partners and Ion Investments.
“In order to rule out unstable factors related to the IPO, we have decided to issue new shares only and won’t carry out a secondary offering,” an official at Celltrion Healthcare said.
The company, which markets, sells and distributes Celltrion’s biosimilar -- near-replicas of blockbuster biologic drugs -- plans to use the fund to beef up its global marketing of the products which are gaining traction in Europe and the US.
“As overseas sales of Celltrion’s biosimilars are in full swing, we expect that the firm will be valued well,” the official said.
Celltrion is targeting the European and US markets with its less expensive alternatives to the branded originals. Its first biosimilar Remsima -- referencing Johnson & Johnson’s drug Remicade -- is quickly penetrating the lucrative markets while Truxima has just been cleared for marketing in European countries. Celltrion’s Herceptin Biosimilar Herzuma was submitted for approval in Europe in November.
Thanks to Remsima’s successful launch, Celltrion Healthcare logged a net profit of 122.9 billion won in 2016, with revenue of 757.7 billion won, up 329.7 percent and 88.3 percent on-year, respectively.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org)