Company Briefs: Lonza


Swiss biotech company Lonza has entered into a 50/50 joint venture with Danish bioscience company Chr. Hansen to invest about €90 million (S$137 million) over three years to develop live biotherapeutic products (LBP).

The joint venture targets the emerging pre-clinical and clinical supply industry for LBP. Mainboard-listed Lonza said the global clinical supply industry is estimated to reach €150 million to €200 million by 2025.

The company said this is the first contract development and manufacturing partner (CDMO) globally to provide a full supply chain that offers manufacturing of bacteria strains for therapeutic use.

In pharmaceuticals, CDMOs provide contract services from drug development to drug manufacturing.

The project will encompass handling, characterising, formulating, manufacturing and encapsulating strict anaerobe bacteria.

Lonza said having these capabilities under one roof will allow seamless exchanges between drug substance and drug product activities and decrease development timelines.

Keppel Reit

Keppel Reit has priced a $200 million offering of five-year convertible bonds at the cheap end of price talk, suggesting tepid response to the deal.

The senior unsecured bonds will be sold at 100 per cent of par and bear a coupon of 1.9 per cent, which is the high end of the 1.7 per cent to 1.9 per cent range indicated during marketing, the commercial real estate investment trust (Reit) announced on Tuesday evening.

The initial conversion premium of 12.5 per cent over Tuesday's closing price represents an initial conversion price of $1.4625, which is on the cheap end of the indicated range of $1.4625 to $1.5275.

Keppel has chosen not to upsize the deal by an additional $50 million.

New converted units, if the notes are fully converted, will represent about 4 per cent of Keppel Reit's current existing units.

Note holders have a put option after three years to require early redemption of the bonds. After three years, Keppel Reit also has a call option to force early redemption of the bonds, subject to the common units trading at least 30 per cent over the prevailing conversion price.

Keppel Reit will use the proceeds from the offering either or both to refinance existing debt and to fund a potential acquisition.

BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse (Singapore) were the joint lead managers and bookrunners for the deal.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 04, 2019, with the headline 'Company Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe