(Reuters) – Zealand Pharma’s owners are considering floating part of the Danish biotech firm on the Copenhagen bourse in November, sources said.
“They want it done in November. Pricing should be in two weeks, no more than three, following pre-marketing scheduled in the next two weeks,” a banking source close to the deal said, adding the firm could be worth 2-3 billion Danish crowns ($373-$560 million).
Investors said Danske Bank and SEB are presenting the company to large investors, and two other non-Nordic banks are also involved in handling the deal.
Another source said biotech specialist Jefferies is among the two non-Nordic banks.
One banking source said the owners of Zealand Pharma plan to float less than half the shares.
Zealand Pharma’s main owner, Danish private equity investment firm Sunstone Capital, was not immediately available to comment.
Zealand Pharma Chief Executive Officer David Solomon declined to comment on the owners’ plans.
Danish business daily Borsen on Thursday cited analysts at SEB Enskilda as saying Zealand Pharma is probably worth up to 3.2 billion crowns.
The company’s owners pulled the plug on a planned IPO in 2005 due to weak investor interest.
Its main experimental product, diabetes drug lixisenatide, is seen accounting for nearly two thirds of the company’s value according to Borsen. The drug belongs to the GLP-1 class of drugs that stimulate insulin release when glucose levels become too high.
If it wins marketing approval, it will compete with Novo Nordisk’s (NOVOb.CO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Victoza, and Amylin (AMLN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Eli Lilly’s (LLY.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Byetta.
An analysis of Zealand Pharma by SEB Enskilda analysts, estimates that the company will be profitable from 2014, Borsen said, and will reach sales of over 1 billion Danish crowns, with an operating profit of more than 500 million.
Zealand Pharma in 2003 licensed lixisenatide to French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which is conducting late-stage studies of it as a monotherapy and also in combination with its own long-acting insulin Lantus. [ID:nLDE68J0TW]
“In our model, the combination product lixisenatide/Lantus accounts for 56 percent of the value of Zealand Pharma,” Borsen quoted the analysts as saying.
Sunstone Capital owns 13 percent of Zealand Pharma and manages funds worth another 24 percent in the firm, Zealand’s Solomon said.
Besides Sunstone Capital, shareholders with more than 5 percent of Zealand Pharma’s stock are Sunstone BI Funds, CDC Innovation, LD Pension, Allianz Innovation, Dansk Erhvervsinvestering and LSP.
By Peter Levring and Anna Ringstrom
(Additional reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Mike Nesbit) ($1=5.356 Danish crowns)