Contract drugmaker Samsung BioLogics Co Ltd priced its initial public offering (IPO) at the top of its indicative range on Friday, making the share sale South Korea’s second-largest ever at 2.25 trillion won ($1.97 billion).
The deal will give 1.5 trillion won in fresh capital to Samsung Group’s biopharmaceuticals arms at a time when South Korea’s biggest conglomerate hunts for new avenues of growth.
BioLogics and subsidiary Samsung Bioepis, which makes lower-cost copies of complex biotech drugs known as biosimilars, are central to the conglomerate’s pharmaceuticals push championed by de facto leader Jay Y. Lee.
The IPO will fund BioLogics’ effort to become the world’s biggest contract maker of biotech drugs. It will also provide more capital to Bioepis, which aims to beat rivals to market copies of blockbuster drugs.
Samsung BioLogics said it priced its offering at 136,000 won a share, versus an indicative range of 113,000 won to 136,000 won.
“Both domestic and foreign investors appear to have valued the firm highly because they believe this is a business area in which Samsung will continue to invest,” said IBK Asset Management fund manager Kim Hyun-su, who participated in the IPO’s bookbuilding process.
The sale involved 25 percent of Samsung BioLogics, comprising 11 million new shares and 5.5 million existing shares owned by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS).
It is South Korea’s largest deal since Samsung Life Insurance Co Ltd’s (032830.KS) raised 4.89 trillion won in 2010.
The IPO price values Samsung BioLogics at 9 trillion won, making it the 31st largest South Korea-listed firm by market capitalization.
Samsung Electronics, which will remain Samsung BioLogics’ second-largest shareholder behind Samsung C&T Corp (028260.KS), will raise about 750 billion won through the IPO, adding to the company’s 83 trillion won cash pile.
Reporting by Se Young Lee; Additional reporting by Joyce Lee
Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Christopher Cushing