SK Biopharm expected to raise W5T through IPO

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SK Biopharm expected to raise W5T through IPO

Korean drug firm SK Biopharmaceuticals is expected to raise at least 5 trillion won ($4.25 billion) through a planned share sale, analysts said Monday.

The company said Friday that Xcopri, or cenobamate, has won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of partial-onset seizures in adults.

Following the FDA approval, SK Biopharmaceuticals will likely speed up its initial public offering (IPO), with its shares slated to be listed early next year, according to them.

SK Biopharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical unit of Korean conglomerate SK Group, submitted a preliminary application for an IPO to the Korea Exchange late last month.

SK Securities estimated in a recent research note that the corporate value of SK Biopharmaceuticals, wholly owned by SK Holdings, would reach about 6.2 trillion won.

In an August report, Korea Investment & Securities expected the market capitalization of SK Biopharmaceuticals to range from 5 trillion won to 10 trillion won.

SK Biopharmaceuticals is widely projected to be the biggest IPO since the 2017 share listing by Netmarble, Korea’s top mobile gaming company.

In May 2017, Netmarble sold shares worth 2.7 trillion won, with its market capitalization standing at 13.7 trillion won on its first trading day.

Market watchers forecast SK Biopharmaceuticals’ planned listing to give a fillip to Korea’s flaccid IPO market, as well as the country’s sluggish biopharmaceutical market, which has been hit by a series of scandals.

The value of IPOs on the country’s main stock market tumbled to 2.6 trillion won in 2018 from 18.1 trillion won a year earlier.

In July this year, the Health Ministry revoked its approval for Kolon Life Science’s gene therapy drug, Invossa, for mislabeling and falsely reporting ingredients.

SK Biopharmaceuticals’ planned IPO is expected to go without a hitch after it won approval for an anti-epileptic drug from the U.S. drug watchdog.

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