Temasek unit Ion pares stakes in South Korean healthcare firms with up to S$1.36b block deal

Celltrion's company headquarters in Incheon, South Korea on Oct 28, 2016.
Celltrion's company headquarters in Incheon, South Korea on Oct 28, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Temasek Holdings' unit, Ion Investments, on Wednesday (March 7) said it is paring its stakes in South Korean healthcare companies but will remain a substantial shareholder in both.

Earlier on Tuesday, IFR reported that Ion is selling part of its stakes in pharmaceutical company Celltrion and distributor Celltrion Healthcare, citing a term sheet.

It said in a block deal worth up to 1.1 trillion won (S$1.36 billion), Ion plans to sell up to 2,240,000 shares in Celltrion for 336,700 to 347,800 won each and up to 2,290,000 shares in Celltrion Healthcare for 108,654 to 112,236 won each.

The pricing represents a discount of 6 to 9 per cent to their pre-deal close, said IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication.

Temasek's head, Life Sciences, Fidah Alsagoff, said, "We have been invested in Celltrion and Celltrion Healthcare since 2010 and 2011, respectively, and have been very pleased with their progress during our investment. Within life sciences, biosimilars has been an area of focus for us, and Celltrion has clearly established itself as one of the global leaders in this field.

"As a long term investor, Temasek reshapes and rebalances its portfolio from time to time, recycling capital for future investments. While we have entered into an agreement for a partial divestment, we are pleased to maintain our position as one of the largest financial investors in Celltrion and Celltrion Healthcare."