South Korean drug company SK Bioscience aims to seek a domestic stock market listing in the first half of next year, it said on Friday.
The plan follows successful initial public offerings (IPOs) by its affiliate SK Biopharmaceuticals and other companies, such as Kakao Games, which attracted huge interest from Korean retail investors seeking higher returns in the face of near-zero interest rates.
SK Bioscience, which is 98% owned by SK Chemical, said its board has approved the potential IPO and it has hired NH Investment & Securities as lead manager.
The company said the share sale will enable it to respond to the rapidly changing environment, such as the spread of COVID-19, and enhance shareholder value through continued investment and technological innovation.
SK Bioscience this week received regulatory approval to begin human clinical trials of its COVID-19 experimental vaccine, having agreed in July to manufacture AstraZeneca’s experimental vaccine to help the British company build global supplies.
The agreement was followed by another deal to manufacture a component of U.S. drug developer Novavax Inc’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine.