IPOs

South Korean investigators raid stock exchange in another Samsung BioLogics IPO probe — report

Samsung’s biotech arm is in trouble, again. Prosecutors reportedly raided the office of the Korea Exchange — the bourse on which Samsung BioLogics listed in 2016 — as part of an investigation into the IPO, on Friday.

Regulators suspect the stock market operator softened regulations to allow Samsung BioLogics to list on the exchange. Investigators collected documents and computer hard drives, looking for information related to the 2016 IPO, according to a Nikkei report.

The probe is another headache for the tech giant, which is making a significant investment in health to reinvigorate its growth engine. After building up a biosimilars group and branching out into new drug development, Samsung last August announced plans to make a big push on the biopharmaceuticals front over the next three years.

Last year, South Korea’s financial regulator — the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) — suspended the stock of the BioLogics unit of the family-run conglomerate, fined the firm 8 billion won ($7.04 million) after determining the company had inflated its value ahead of its 2016 listing and willfully breached accounting standards. It also tasked the Korea Exchange to review whether Samsung BioLogics should be delisted altogether.

That suspension by the SFC was later lifted by the Korean Exchange on the premise that while management had some problems with transparency, those issues were not serious enough to maintain the suspension, Nikkei reported.


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