Otsuka plots $2.8B IPO

Japan's Otsuka Holdings is planning to go public in December in a $2.8 billion IPO--the largest ever for a pharmaceutical company. Merck KGaA previously held the record with its $1.7 billion IPO in 1995.

Founded in 2008, Otsuka serves as a parent company for 145 subsidiaries with a total of 39,000 employees. The developer, which will be listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, is going public to help fund development of new drugs and global expansion or its operations. Otuska's R&D spending hit $1.8 billion in 2009, up 12 percent from 2008. Most of that R&D budget is spent on new drug research.

Otsuka will sell 80 million shares--38.68 million new shares and 41.32 million of its own shares it holds, according to Reuters--for ¥2,400 each. The $2.8 billion IPO places the company's value at more than $12 billion, ranking it behind Japanese drugmaking giants Takeda Pharmaceutical, Astellas Pharma and Daiichi Sankyo. It will be similar to Eisai in size.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical, the largest of Otsuka Holdings' firms, developed the schizophrenia drug Abilify. Bristol-Myers Squibb markets the drug in the U.S.

- check out the Reuters article