Ascletis draws GIC as cornerstone investor for first pre-profit biotech IPO in Hong Kong

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.

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Bloomberg

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.