Citi Pharma Ltd., a raw material supplier to the Pakistani units of GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Abbott Laboratories, is planning to opt for an initial public offering (IPO) in the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), Bloomberg reported on Friday.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Rizwan Ahmad informed the media that the Lahore-based company aims to raise Rs. 2.85 billion ($18 million) within the next month and a half, in what might be the biggest share listing in Pakistan by a pharmaceutical company.
The initial public offer will include 35 percent of the company’s equity or 72.7 million shares at Rs. 28 per share with an upper limit of 40 percent, according to the financial adviser for the IPO, Topline Securities Pakistan Ltd.
Bloomberg’s report indicates that the initial public offering to likely exceed the Rs. 2.8 billion rupees raised by AGP Pharma Ltd. in 2017.
Citi Pharma is a producer of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), and is joining a global rush to raise capital as the equity markets surge.
Pakistan’s KSE-100 Index has gained about 70 percent since 25 March 2020 when the lockdowns began worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic. This has helped in reviving Pakistan’s IPO market, which in addition to this IPO, is proceeding to register a record year for public offerings.
Finance Director, Amir Zia, stated that Citi Pharma will use about two-thirds of the IPO funds to build a 50-bed hospital in Lahore, while using the remaining amount to construct two new plants that will be operational by the end of this year.
The CEO also shared that this expansion will allow the company to start manufacturing branded drugs and to supply medicines to other companies. It is already in talks with Glaxo, Searle Co., and Martin Dow for the same, he said.
The current production facility of the company is located near Lahore and spans 47 acres. It was acquired from the Army Welfare Trust in 2012. With the newly expanded capacity, the company will be able to produce over 10 million tablets and capsules per day.
Citi Pharma’s revenues have increased 36 percent annually on average in the past five years, while their gross margins have remained around 13 percent. With the expansion, the forecasted revenue is likely to soar by over three times, to Rs. 12 billion by mid-2023.