Booming WuXi eyes $1.5B IPO for biologics unit: report

WuXi CEO Ge Li

Just months after taking the company private in a $3.3 billion deal, WuXi CEO Ge Li has begun setting the stage to spin out its rocketing biologics unit in an IPO that would value the business at $1.5 billion, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Based in Shanghai with facilities in the U.S., WuXi has achieved remarkably fast growth, emerging as the biggest contract research organization in China with extensive R&D and manufacturing ties throughout the world. In just the last few months the company has:

• Blueprinted a $120 million, 250,000-square-foot biologics discovery hub in Shanghai, with plans to bring together some 800 scientists.

• Struck a deal to jointly produce biologics with AstraZeneca ($AZN), which has partnered with WuXi on the development and commercialization of MEDI5117. AstraZeneca also has an option to buy a manufacturing facility from WuXi for $100 million.

• Added $290 million to its venture fund as it takes a stake in a growing group of U.S. biotechs that now includes Juno ($JUNO), Agios ($AGIO) and Twist Biosciences.

Bank of America and Morgan Stanley have been brought in to handle a Hong Kong share sale, Bloomberg reports, citing sources close to the deal. WuXi pulled out of the New York Stock Exchange on December 10.

Ge Li and his top executive crew have earned a reputation for fast-paced dealmaking that's unprecedented in China's growing biopharma business. And clearly they're still in the early stages of wheeling and dealing with some of the biggest, and smallest, players in the global industry.

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Special Report: The 25 most influential people in biopharma in 2015 - Ge Li - WuXi PharmaTech

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