(Yicai Global) March 28 -- WuXi AppTec Co. is lined up to become the first Chinese company to float on a mainland exchange after delisting in the US. The China Securities Regulatory Commission approved the bio-pharma unicorn's initial public offering yesterday.
WuXi AppTec will issue up to 104.2 million shares, or at least 10 percent of its total, on the Shanghai Stock Exchange to raise CNY5.74 billion (USD918 million), per its prospectus updated on Feb. 6. Proceeds will go to expand its drug safety evaluation center in Suzhou in southeastern Jiangsu province and build a project in the US to commercialize gene and cell therapies.
The Shanghai-based firm, China's largest bio-medicine research service provider and research outsourcer for drugmakers, was set up in 2000. It listed in New York in 2007 and went private in a USD3.3 billion deal in December 2015. The company had planned to relist in Hong Kong, but later turned its attention to the mainland.
A wave of Chinese companies went private in the US and relisted in China before WuXi AppTec after US investors gave them the cold shoulder in favor of China's flashier internet heavyweights. But unlike WuXi AppTec the returnees -- such as 360 Security Technology Inc. [SHA:601360] (Qihoo 360) and Focus Media Information Technology Co. [SHE:002027] -- opted for back-door listings, or reverse mergers, rather than taking the longer IPO road.