Since going public in Shanghai this May, WuXi AppTec has more than tripled its share price. It’s now looking to take the momentum to Hong Kong.
The powerhouse contract research organization has filed for an IPO, eyeing a massive offering that could fetch more than $1 billion, anonymous sources tell Bloomberg, on the heels of several big IPOs by Ascletis, BeiGene and Hua Medicine.
Unlike these biotechs, which Hong Kong’s new rules are meant to attract, WuXi has been generating a sizable revenue. It’s also been expanding its global operations, with subsidiary WuXi Biologics blueprinting several manufacturing sites in Shanghai, Shijiazhuang and Worcester, MA. WuXi Biologics is currently listed in Hong Kong, having raised $509 million last June.
This would mark the fourth IPO that founder Ge Li has orchestrated since he took WuXi AppTec private from the New York Stock Exchange in 2015 in a $3.3 billion deal, with help from Ally Bridge Group and Hillhouse Capital.
He’s doing this one with longtime colleague Edward Hu, who’s been by his side as COO, CFO and chief investment officer but was recently promoted to co-CEO — an understandable move considering the ambitious list of actions that WuXi is ready to spend on, spelled out in their application:
- Expansion of capacity and capabilities across all business units globally, including seven projects in China, a bioanalytical lab in San Diego, a manufacturing plant in the US, and a Hong Kong-based R&D center
- Acquisition of CRO and CMO/CDMO companies
- Investing and incubating companies in biotech, healthcare IT, hospital, diagnostics, and tools and instruments
- Developing cutting-edge technology such as AI-empowered drug discovery platform
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