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One Equity Partners to unload Celltrion Healthcare stake at discount

Celltrion`s headquarters in Songdo, Incheon (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
Celltrion`s headquarters in Songdo, Incheon (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
One Equity Partners, a spinoff of JPMorgan dedicated to middle market investment, is reportedly looking to unload part of its stake in South Korea’s drug distributor Celltrion Healthcare through a block trade for roughly 350 billion won ($283.6 million).

The price of some 4 million Celltrion Healthcare shares, a 2.6 percent stake, was set at between 85,000 won and 87,000 won per share after the market closed Tuesday, according to news reports. The price was lower than the Tuesday closing price at 91,500 won. After the sale, One Equity will hold a stake or about 1.8 percent in the company.

This is the fifth off-market sale by the New York-based investor of a stake in the largest listed company on the nation’s development bourse Kosdaq by market cap.

Being one of the early investors in Celltrion Healthcare, One Equity has so far cashed out 1.4 trillion won worth of Celltrion Healthcare shares in four previous block deals since 2018. Block deals refer to securities transactions that are made privately between buyers and sellers during off-exchange hours.

Another early investor, Temasek affiliate Ion Investments, has divested 485 billion won worth of its Celltrion Healthcare stake since 2018.

Following the news, Celltrion Healthcare was trading lower than the previous day’s closing price. Celltrion Healthcare closed at 87,400 won per share, down 4.5 percent, Wednesday.

Celltrion Healthcare’s market cap stands at roughly 13.2 trillion won, the largest among Kosdaq companies.

Celltrion Healthcare is a key affiliate of Celltrion Group, dedicated to biosimilar drugs including Remsima, Truxima and Herzuma, along with crown jewel Celltrion and generic arm Celltrion Pharm.

By Son Ji-hyoung (