SK Bioscience IPO lures institutional investors

SK Bioscience carried out its two-day book building process on Thursday (March 4) and Friday for its planned initial public offering (IPO), which is the first multi-trillion-won deal in 2021, industry sources said on Friday.

The deal is led by South Korea’s top three underwriters, NH Investment & Securities, Korea Investment Securities and Mirae Asset Daewoo.

Orders for shares were oversubscribed by more than 400 times on the first day, with the final figure expected to be over 1000 times.

National Pension Service and major global firms have participated in the deal. “Almost all renowned foreign institutions have joined the deal,” an industry source said.

Thanks to the strong response from investors, an offering price is likely to be set at 65,000 won, the top end of the band of 49,000 won and 65,000 won per share. Many institutional investors reportedly placed their bets in the 70,000 won range, but SK Group, which pursues market-friendly prices, is likely to be satisfied with a price at the top end of its range.

If the offering price is set at 65,000 won per share, SK Bioscience will raise nearly 1.5 trillion won through the blockbuster IPO and its largest shareholder SK Chemicals will earn 994.5 billion won by selling its old shares. SK Bioscience plans to use 393.4 billion won of the proceeds to expand its plant in Andong and build a plant for its new bio contract manufacturing organizations business.

SK Bioscience’s two-day IPO subscription for individual investors ran on Tuesday (March 9) and Wednesday, prior to the company’s listing on March 18. (Reporting by Kyung-joo Lee)