SEOUL-Samsung will make its first entry into U.S. stock markets with ananticipated $1 billion listing of its biotechnology affiliate, according to peoplefamiliar with the matter, marking a major step in the South Koreanconglomerate’s foray into a new industry outside its better-known electronicsbusiness.
The listing of Samsung Bioepis Co. on the Nasdaq Stock Market would help itfund its heavy investment in research and development and production facilitiesto tap into the fast-emerging field of biosimilars.
Biosimilars are biotechnology drugs analogous to generic drugs.
For the Samsung Group, which was founded in 1938 and consists of more than60 companies, the Samsung Bioepis offering represents its first U.S. publicstock listing-a bid to fetch a richer valuation on an exchange already populatedwith biotechnology companies.
Samsung Electronics Co., the smartphones-and-semiconductor giant that is thecrown jewel of the Samsung conglomerate, holds 46% of Samsung BioLogicsCo., which in turn owns 90% of Bioepis.
Samsung Bioepis is devoted to developing generic versions of biotechnologydrugs whose patents are expiring.
The company has six products under development, and in 2013 agreed todevelop and commercialize biosimilars with Merck & Co. Inc.