U.S. Biotech Firm Stealth Is Said to Eye Hong Kong IPO This Year

(Bloomberg) -- Stealth BioTherapeutics Inc., a U.S.-based biotechnology firm, is planning an initial public offering in Hong Kong as soon as this year, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Morningside Group-backed drug developer is working with advisers on the proposed share sale, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Stealth could seek to raise around $200 million, though preparations are at an early stage and details of the offering could change, the people said.

The city’s exchange last month approved the biggest change to its IPO rules in two decades. It now accepts applications from firms with different share classes as well as from unprofitable biotech businesses, a revision intended to attract earlier-stage developers like Stealth. This week, Ascletis Pharma Inc. became the first biotech firm to apply under the new rules.

Other companies in the sector are also aiming to list in Hong Kong. U.S.-based startup Grail Inc., whose investors include Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, and Fosun Group-backed Shanghai Henlius Biotech Inc. are both planning IPOs in the city, people familiar with the matter have said.

A representative for Stealth declined to comment.

Massachusetts-based Stealth develops drugs for diseases caused by the dysfunction of mitochondria, the energy-producing units present in most human cells, its website shows. The company’s chief executive officer, Reenie McCarthy, is also head of Morningside’s Boston office, according to the website.

China’s Xiaomi Corp., which also counts Morningside as an investor, was the first company to use the city’s new listing rules, filing last week for what’s expected to be the world’s largest debut since 2014.

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