Billionaire Paulsen's PolyPeptide Group plans Swiss IPO to fund growth

ZURICH (Reuters) – Drug industry contract manufacturer PolyPeptide Group, controlled by a foundation linked to Swedish billionaire adventurer Frederik Paulsen Jr., plans to list 40% of share capital on the Swiss stock exchange as it raises money to finance capital expenditures.

PolyPeptide, whose customers include U.S.-based Novavax Inc, for which it is making ingredients for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, plans to list in the second quarter, subject to market conditions, it said on Monday.

It plans a placement of existing shares, as well as a primary offering.

It has three business areas, serving customers in early-stage development of treatments, those with commercially approved products and customers in the generic drug and cosmetics industries.

PolyPeptide has six GMP-certified and FDA-approved facilities in Europe, the U.S. and India, employing more than 900 people. The group last year reported revenue of 223 million euros ($265.04 million).

“Reflecting our strong track record of growth, the intended IPO is a natural next step in our journey, and we are very pleased to now be planning this step in Switzerland,” said board member Jane Salk, the former chief executive.

The company recently announced a new CEO, Raymond De Vre, to oversee the company after going public. It would join another big peptides maker, Bachem, that is already listed on the Swiss exchange.

Paulsen, a billionaire adventurer who lives in western Switzerland, in 2007 co-piloted a Russian submersible to the seabed below the North Pole.

He is also chairman of Ferring Group, a Lausanne-based biotech company focused on reproductive health and gastroenterology, and is on the board of Philip Morris International, maker of Marlboro-brand cigarettes.

Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and BofA Securities are acting as Joint Global Coordinators and Joint Bookrunners for the planned IPO. Berenberg, Danske Bank and Zürcher Kantonalbank are acting as Joint Bookrunners. Rothschild & Co. is acting as independent financial adviser to PolyPeptide Group.

($1 = 0.8414 euros)

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