Bioton is First Polish Biotech Company to go Public
Warsaw - The first biotech company in the history of the Polish capital market is planning to make its debut at the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WGPW) at the end of this year. In late October 2004 the Polish Securities and Exchange Commission (PSEC) expressed its consent to admit the shares of Bioton S.A. to public trading.
In addition to the existing 161.8 million shares to be divided into Series A and B shares with a nominal value of 1 zloty (Euro 0.24), 16.1 million new ones (Series C) with the same nominal value will be emitted. Since the book-building range per share has not yet been published, it remains to be seen how large the cash injection from the IPO will be. However, experts consider the percentage of newly issued shares - 10% of total stock - to be rather small. “No existing investors have any intentions to sell their shares during the first months after the IPO,” Piotr Rusiecki, deputy director at CA IB Financial Advisers, whose company organizes the IPO, told Warsaw Business Journal.
Biggest shareholders of Bioton are Pro-kom Investments (49.99%), followed by Swiss Nihonswi AG (15.43%), Bank Austria Creditanstalt AG (12.36%), and the Biotechnology and Antibiotics Institute, Warsaw (11.22%).
Bioton is manufacturing and distributing biotechnological products (recombin-ant human insulin under the brand name Gensulin) and generic drugs (mainly antibiotics). It is the only Polish manufacturer, and one of the few worldwide, of recom-binant human insulin, which accounts for some 40% of the companies sales. The production of antibiotics from the cephalo-sporine group accounts for 41% of its sales. Within the period of the first six months of the year 2004, the Bioton Group claims to have held about 7% in the insulin market in Poland behind Novo Nordisk A/S and Eli Lilly, a 14% share in the cephalosporine antibiotics market and a 60% share in the aminoglycoside antibiotics market (based on data by IMS Health). According to the Warsaw Business Journal Bioton hopes to raise its shares of the insulin market to 20 to 30% within a few years.
Ambitious Growth Plans
After a net profit of a1.9 million in 2003, Bioton forecasts a profit of Euro4.7 million for this year. The company aims at investing some Euro60 million until 2009 - 80% of which will be spent on R&D and on the expansion of the production facilities.
Bioton's basic strategic aim is to expand as a biotechnological company and to systematically increase the share of medicinal products based on substances produced by biosynthesis. The next phase will encompass the development, implementation of the production processes and introduction onto the market of subsequent recombin-ant protein substances. These substances will be applied to produce the company's own medicinal products and will also be offered to other pharmaceutical producers as precursors.