Ascletis Draws GIC to First Pre-Profit Biotech IPO in Hong Kong

(Bloomberg) -- Ascletis Pharma Inc., the first biotech company to take advantage of new Hong Kong listing rules, is seeking to raise as much as $457 million in an initial public offering in the city.

The company is offering 224.1 million shares at HK$12 to HK$16 apiece, according to terms for the deal obtained by Bloomberg. Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte agreed to buy $75 million of stock as a cornerstone investor, the terms show.

Hangzhou-based Ascletis Pharma filed for its planned Hong Kong IPO in May, becoming the first biotech application after the city relaxed rules to allow listings from unprofitable early stage drug developers. Several biotech firms including U.S.-based Stealth BioTherapeutics Inc. and China’s Hua Medicine Ltd. and AOBiome Therapeutics Inc. have followed with IPO filings in the city.

The IPO price range implies a market value of $1.7 billion to $2.3 billion, assuming a so-called over-allotment option is not exercised, according to the terms. Ascletis plans to take orders for the IPO through July 25 and expects to begin trading August 1.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and China Merchants Securities Co. are joint sponsors of the offering, according to a preliminary prospectus.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.