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South Korea’s SK Biopharmaceuticals to raise more than $850m in country’s second largest IPO since 2017

By Ramla Soni

SK Biopharmaceuticals’ more than $850 million IPO will be South Korea’s largest since 2017

South Koreas SK Biopharmaceuticals to raise more than 850m in countrys second largest IPO since 2017

South Korean drug company SK Biopharmaceuticals is to raise more than $850 million (£658m, €771m) through a planned initial public offering (IPO) in January in what is said to be the country’s biggest listing in two years.

SK Biopharmaceuticals has chosen Citigroup and NH Investment & Securities as lead managers for the deal, which is the largest IPO since mobile gaming company Netmarble raised $2.3 billion in May 2017.

A preliminary application for the IPO was submitted to the Korea Exchange by the company late last month.

The listing comes after SK Life Science, the US subsidiary of SK Group, won approval from the US Food and Drug Administration last week for its cenobamate tablets, a drug that treats partial-onset seizures in adults.

The approval of the drug, which will provide clinicians with an “effective medication” for patients, marks the first time a Korean company has independently brought a compound from discovery to US FDA approval.

The approval is based on results from two global, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies and a large, global, multi-centre, open-label safety study that enrolled adults with uncontrolled partial-onset seizures, taking one to three concomitant anti-epileptic drugs.

The value of IPOs in South Korea has fallen to about $3 billion so far this year, from $6.8 billion in 2017.

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