Temasek increases stake in US-based pharma firm

Temasek Holdings lifted its shareholding in Nasdaq-listed Portola Pharmaceuticals last year, according to a United States Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The sovereign wealth fund increased its holdings by 750,000 shares over the course of last year to 6.584 million, as at Dec 31.

However, Temasek's percentage stake in the firm actually fell slightly, from 12 per cent to 11.8 per cent as the overall number of Portola shares increased last year.

When contacted, Temasek confirmed the share purchase but declined to disclose when it purchased the shares and for how much.

Founded in 2003, Portola conducts research in diseases like thrombosis. It is based in San Francisco, has about 130 employees and completed an initial public offering in May 2013.

Temasek singled out life sciences and agriculture as one of the top three sectors for investment for the year ended March 31 last year. In those 12 months, it invested in US pharmaceutical firm Gilead Sciences and Indian firm Intas Pharmaceuticals.

Life sciences and agriculture was 3 per cent of its portfolio as at March 31 last year, up from 2 per cent a year before.

Earlier this month, Temasek added Futuristic Store Fixtures to its portfolio. The Singapore company specialises in making store fixtures, such as shelves and hanging bars, in large quantities.

Last month, media reports said Temasek was set to acquire a 72 per cent stake in India's Care Hospitals for 18 billion rupees (S$381.4 million). With 16 hospitals in nine Indian cities, it is India's fifth-largest private healthcare network.

Temasek also last month said it would invest in China's financial sector by taking part in Postal Savings Bank of China's (PSBC) private fund-raising exercise. The exercise was to involve PSBC selling 16.92 per cent of its stake to 10 global strategic partners.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2016, with the headline 'Temasek increases stake in US-based pharma firm'. Print Edition | Subscribe