WuXi Biologics' medical research unit eyes up to $471 million in Hong Kong IPO

People work at the WuXi Biologics' factory in Leverkusen

(Reuters) -China-headquartered WuXi XDC, the contract medical researching unit of WuXi Biologics (Cayman), said on Tuesday it intended to raise up to HK$3.68 billion ($470.56 million) in one of Hong Kong's top initial public offerings (IPO) this year.

The company, which is a joint venture between WuXi Biologics and WuXi STA that provides end-to-end contract services covering antibodies and other biologics intermediates, will issue 178.4 million shares priced at a maximum of HK$20.60 each, according to the company's regulatory filing.

In July, parent WuXi Biologics revealed its intentions to spin-off Wuxi XDC and initiate a separate listing for the arm.

Wuxi Biologics said the separate listing would enable the unit to serve as an independent platform that would continue to focus on the company's global contract research, development, and manufacturing organization businesses, highlighting the benefits of better allocation of capital and resources if the IPO goes through.

"The spin-off would allow our Group to gain direct access to capital markets for equity and/or debt financing to fund its existing operations and future expansion without reliance on the WXB Group, thereby improving its operating and financial management efficiencies," the company said in a filing.

In a separate announcement, Wuxi Biologics said it would own in aggregate of about 50.91% stake in Wuxi XDC, if the spin-off is successful.

The offer price for the unit's spinoff under the global offering is expected to range between a minimum and maximum price of HK$19.90 per share and HK$20.60 per share, respectively, Wuxi Biologics said.

The company said the unit was expected to have a market capitalization of between HK$23.45 billion and HK$24.28 billion.

($1 = 7.8204 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar, Krishna Chandra Eluri and Rashmi Aich)