March 25, 2019

Drug firms log big returns from equity investments

PUBLISHED : May 16, 2018 - 10:51

UPDATED : May 16, 2018 - 10:51

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[THE INVESTOR] Korean pharmaceutical companies have posted hefty returns from their equity investments in domestic and foreign bio startups, data showed on May 16.

According to the data from the Financial Supervisory Service, pharmaceutical giant Yuhan sold some 400,000 shares of Genexine, a clinical stage biotechnology company listed on the secondary stock market, for 35.9 billion won (US$33.30 million) in the first quarter of this year.

The equity sale reduced Yuhan’s holdings of Genexine to 110,000 shares as of the end of March, but its stake is expected to rise again as it is poised to participate in Genexine’s planned rights offering.

Yuhan plans to spend 30 billion won to purchase 332,000 shares of Genexine’s preferred shares.

In the first quarter, Yuhan also generated a return of 30 billion won from the disposal of 223,800 shares of local bio venture company Hanall Biopharma, which it bought for 30 billion won in 2012.

Midsized industry player Handok Pharmaceuticals has profited big from its 2012 investment of 30 billion won in Genexine. Handok sold 40 billion won worth of Genexine shares at the end of last year and in the first quarter of this year.

Handok currently has 3.78 million shares of Genexine, which translates into 430 billion won at the market price. The amount is above Handok‘s 2017 sales of 413.4 billion won.

Bukwang Pharm is one of the Korean pharmaceutical companies that have made successful investment in overseas bio ventures. The company is expected to post an investment return of up to 33 billion won by disposing its 5.4 percent stake in Canadian bio venture company AurKa Pharma.

By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (

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