Skincare products maker Galderma gears up for long-awaited $2.6B IPO

After a few holdups, Swiss skincare company Galderma is finally going public in a highly anticipated market debut that could make for one of Europe’s largest listings this year.

The company is offering more than 40 million shares at a price between 49 to 53 Swiss francs, Galderma said in a release. The offer period begins today and runs through March 20, with the first day of trading on the SIX Swiss Exchange expected on March 22.

That price range adds up to an initial public offering (IPO) size of 2.3 billion Swiss francs ($2.6 billion). Including debt, Galderma’s total market value should come out in the range of 16.4 billion francs to 17.3 billion francs ($18.69 billion to $19.72 billion), Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Wednesday offering quickly garnered demand in excess of the full deal size, according to Bloomberg. The company is backed by European private equity firm EQT, among other investors.

Last summer, Galderma picked up around $1 billion in private placement funding for newly issued private shares. At the time, the company said a public offering was the “likely next step” in its efforts to become the world’s leading dermatology company, it said at the time.

An IPO has been in the works ever since EQT bought the company, formally known as Nestle Skin Health, in 2019 for $10 billion. Galderma was formed back in 1981 as a joint venture between cosmetics maker L’Oréal and food and beverage company Nestlé upon the invention of the first Cetaphil formulation.

In 2022, volatile market conditions derailed the company’s listing plans, which were delayed again in 2023 due to a “crisis of confidence” in the banking sector, a source close to the matter told Reuters at the time.

Galderma’s IPO is reportedly expected to be one of Europe’s largest in 2024. It seems that timing could be crucial, with UBS’ global co-head of equity capital markets on Tuesday calling the current IPO market a “critical window” in an interview with CNBC.  

Led by its injectable aesthetics portfolio, the company generated more than $4 million in 2023 sales. Galderma is largely known for its leading skincare brand Cetaphil. In 2021, it made its first U.S. buy, purchasing California-based skincare company Alastin and its anti-aging products for an undisclosed price.

Last month, the FDA granted priority review to the drugmaker’s nemolizumab for prurigo nodularis. The agency previously designated the candidate as a breakthrough therapy in 2019.

Nemolizumab is a first-in-class investigational monoclonal antibody that’s meant to inhibit IL-31 signaling to relieve itching in both prurigo nodularis patients and those with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. Regulators in Europe have also accepted the company’s filing.

Meanwhile, the company’s FDA approval bid for its injectable aesthetic RelabotulinumtoxinA was shot down late last year due to manufacturing issues.