Ge Li’s fast-growing WuXi Biologics sets the stage for a $513M IPO
WuXi Biologics, a big one-stop shop for drug discovery, development and manufacturing in China, has reportedly set its sights on a $513 million IPO.
According to a report in Reuters, the company plans to sell 193 million shares at HK$18.60 to HK$20.60 each, valuing the total deal at up to HK$3.98 billion.
Just a few months ago, the company was talking about raising $200 million to $300 million through the IPO on the Hong Kong market. This latest report doubles that amount, highlighting the oversized role that company founder Ge Li has in the country’s biotech industry.
Ge Li runs the mother company, WuXi AppTec, in Shanghai. And over the years he’s built a large R&D/manufacturing operation that spans the globe. According to WuXi Biologics IPO filing, the company had recruited 678 scientists as of the end of Q3, 2016 —most leaning toward animal studies. They were engaged in 140 preclinical drug projects, 32 early-stage development efforts and three Phase III programs for clients.
Ge Li took WuXi AppTec private two years ago when it had a valuation of $3.3 billion. The biologics R&D/manufacturing arm that’s going public now has been building new manufacturing facilities, including new cGMP manufacturing operations. Its clientele includes close connections with AstraZeneca, J&J, Genentech and Amicus.
The Chinese government has had ambitious plans to expand biotech and drug R&D work, often subsidizing the construction of new facilities.