Novo Nordisk pushes back date of IT IPO decision to 2015

NNIT CEO Per Kogut

Denmark is going to have to wait a little longer for its big biotech IT IPO. Having spent the past 10 months weighing up the merits of a separate listing for its IT subsidiary NNIT, Novo Nordisk ($NVO) has decided it needs to wait a little longer before pulling the trigger.

Bagsværd, Denmark-based Novo Nordisk has pushed back the date on which it expects to clarify its IT IPO plans to its next earnings report on January 30. News of the delay comes weeks after the Danish media reported that Novo Nordisk was aiming to list NNIT on November 14, exactly 14 years after it split from Novozymes. November 14 is now certain to pass without an IPO of NNIT, but exactly when the IT subsidiary will list--and even if it will--is still uncertain.

"The assessment is still ongoing and an update is now expected to be provided in connection with the full year result for 2014," Novo Nordisk said in its third-quarter results. Novo Nordisk is far from the only company to decide now is the wrong time to go public. Swiss biotech Molecular Partners pulled the plug on its IPO at the last minute. And Bloomberg reported in the wake of Molecular Partners' decision that 23 companies have postponed or withdrawn European IPOs this year.

For NNIT, an IPO offers more than a way to access public financial markets. Recent media reports--which admittedly failed to predict this week's delay--said Novo Nordisk will keep a 25% stake in NNIT after the IPO. The shift from 100% to 25% ownership could allay concerns other drugmakers may have about working with an IT provider so closely affiliated with a rival.

- read Reuters' report