Novo Nordisk green lights IPO of IT services unit

NNIT CEO Per Kogut

Novo Nordisk ($NVO) has decided to go ahead with the long-discussed IPO of its IT services unit NNIT. The Danish drugmaker spent the past year weighing up the merits of a public listing, which analysts have speculated could value the company at anywhere from $460 million to $1.2 billion.

NNIT is staying tight-lipped about the timing and size of the IPO, which will take place on Nasdaq Copenhagen. Analysts have mooted a wide array of figures and ownership structures over the past year, the most recent of which emerged in October. At that time, Novo Nordisk was reportedly days away from green lighting an IPO that would value NNIT at around $600 million and cut its stake in the business to 25%.

The bankruptcy of Danish shipping fuel business OW Bunker just eight months after it went public--plus a wider dip in IPOs--prompted Novo Nordisk to back away from a listing late in 2014. But the underlying trends that led it to explore a listing originally are still in place. "We are confident that a change of ownership structure can better support the company's further development," NNIT chairman Jesper Brandgaard said in a statement.

Novo Nordisk accounted for just more than half of NNIT's sales last year. Other life science companies already source IT services from NNIT, but there is an expectation that this market could grow as the business distances itself from Novo Nordisk. Non-Novo Nordisk life science sales accounted for 12% of total turnover last year--up one percentage point on 2013--with enterprise, public and finance clients accounting for the rest.

- read the release (PDF)
- here's Reuters' take
- and NNIT's results (PDF)