Seoul-based biotech CMO Samsung BioLogics may file an application with the market regulator in South Korea for an initial public offering as early as this week that could fetch more than $2 billion as the firm aims to become the world's top biologics manufacturer.
Reuters reported that an application could be filed on Aug. 11 with the Korea Stock Exchange, or KOSPI, that analysts estimate could see an IPO garner KRW2 trillion to KRW3 trillion ($1.8 billion to $2.7 billion).
That would be the top listing this year, Reuters said. Samsung BioLogics is 97% owned by the Samsung Group, which last year won a shareholder battle over the management role of the family led by patriarch Lee Kun-hee that included the handling of the Samsung BioLogics operations.
An IPO would also raise interest in other firms in South Korea in the space that are aggressively filing biosimilar applications in Europe and the U.S.
Those companies include Incheon-based Celltrion now working with Pfizer on launching a Remicade biosimilar in the U.S., and Samsung Bioepis, in which Samsung BioLogics holds a majority stake in a partnership with Biogen ($BIIB) and that reportedly plans its own listing for as much as $1 billion.
A public relations executive with Samsung BioLogics, Inchang Hwang, said in an email to FiercePharmaAsia the company could not comment on the report.
Talk of an IPO has swirled since earlier this year in April--then with a $2.6 billion figure--after the company in November of 2015 announced a KRW850 billion plan to build an 180,000-liter-capacity facility next to its two other biologics manufacturing plants in Songdo, South Korea, and in addition to a 150,000 liter plant detailed in early 2015.
The combined 360,000 liters of capacity by 2018 would be the biggest in the world, overtaking Swiss-based Lonza and Germany's Boehringer Ingelheim according to Reuters, and serve a host of leading companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) and Roche ($RHHBY).
Reuters, citing BioProcess Technology Consultants, said biotech manufacturing capacity is forecast to rise to 3.7 million liters globally by 2020 from about 2.3 million liters this year.
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