Novo Nordisk ($NVO) is reportedly set to unveil details of an IPO of its IT services business NNIT in the coming days. The Danish drugmaker has spent most of 2014 assessing whether to spin off the unit as an independent company.
Danish daily newspaper Berlingske appears to have the inside track on the story, reporting that NNIT will file papers for an IPO on Nasdaq Copenhagen on October 22. If the plan proceeds to the forecast schedule, shares in NNIT will begin trading on November 14, exactly 14 years after Novozymes spun out of Novo Nordisk. The independent company is expected to be valued at more than $515 million, with some reports suggesting it could near $680 million.
Novo Nordisk reportedly plans to keep a 25% stake in NNIT, with Novo A/S--the Danish drugmaker's major shareholder--buying a further 25% of the shares. The plan is for Novo A/S and Novo Nordisk to own just more than 50% of the shares. New investors will own the rest of NNIT. Reports from when the IPO was first mooted in January suggested Novo Nordisk would hold on to a bigger stake of the company.
If the reported ownership structure is correct, it could be a way for NNIT to try to expand its business with other drugmakers. NNIT has operated as an independent firm since 1998--and is set to generate half of its sales from companies other than Novo Nordisk this year--but its ownership structure may have deterred some potential clients. By cutting its stake from 100% to 25%, Novo Nordisk could eliminate some of the reservations its rivals may have about working with NNIT.