How about a $477M biotech IPO amid Hong Kong protests? Henlius will find out
A third month of protests in Hong Kong is not stopping Shanghai Henlius Biotech’s push to get listed on its stock exchange.
The $477 million IPO bid marks the first big test for HKEX’s nascent biotech corner since the city became engulfed in political turmoil over a now withdrawn extradition bill and subsequent police brutality. Bloomberg has previously reported that the company was eyeing as much as $600 million.
While several biotech players — including Alphamab, SinoMab and Tasly Biopharma — have sent in IPO applications over the summer, the last raise happened in early June just days before a million-strong march kicked off the ongoing unrest. Hansoh, a fast-growing pharma powerhouse, harnessed a $1 billion windfall.
Henlius could be looking at a valuation between $3 billion to $3.5 billion, Reuters reported. According to a term sheet reviewed by the newswire, four cornerstone investors have put down $140 million, including a $90 million contribution from Qatar Investment Authority.
Henlius is also floating its public debut just as the HKEX made a surprise proposal to merge with the London Stock Exchange for £30 billion ($36.6 billion).
“They are clearly pushing to become the premier exchange outside the US and it is seeming more credible,” a chief investment officer with a US asset manager told the Financial Times.
When the Hong Kong bourse first opened its doors to pre-revenue biotechs last year in an apparent effort to become the Nasdaq for Chinese drug developers, Henlius quickly surfaced as an early believer that could be interested in an IPO. Conceived as a joint venture of Fosun and Henlius to focus initially on biosimilars, the team has secured approval to market a MabThera/Rituxan copycat in China, with knockoffs of Herceptin and Humira to follow.
Henlius first knocked on HKEX doors last December but their filing has since lapsed. They refiled the IPO in July.