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Celltrion set to discuss fleeing Kosdaq

Celltrion, the largest company in market cap on South Korea’s second-tier bourse, is poised to hold a nonregular shareholders meeting to discuss moving to the main bourse.

The announcement by the nation’s second-largest biopharmaceutical firm on its website Wednesday implied signatures for the petition were collected from minor shareholders with a combined stake of more than 3 percent in total, a minimum requirement to hold an extraordinary board meeting.

The petition was submitted on Aug. 7.

Celltrion’s headquarters in Songdo, Incheon (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
Celltrion’s headquarters in Songdo, Incheon (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
The firm will undergo a preliminary eligibility review for entering the top-tier Kospi market by the market operator, the Korea Exchange, if the board meeting votes in favor of fleeing the tech-heavy Kosdaq market.

Neither the date for the meeting nor further plans for the relisting have been decided, according to the firm.

Shareholders have consistently called for the move, saying that Celltrion stocks on the Kosdaq market have suffered “unusual fluctuations” and have been subject to “measured” short-selling, the firm said Thursday.

This came two months after internet giant Kakao, formerly the second-largest Kosdaq listing in market cap, was relisted on the Kospi market on June 12, a week after gaining approval by the Korea Exchange. Kakao is currently the 41st-largest Kospi-listed stock.

Celltrion, maker of the Remicade-referencing Remsima and Rituxan-referencing Truxima, is ranked No. 1 with a market cap of 13.3 trillion won ($11.7 billion) as of Wednesday’s closing, taking up more than 6 percent of the entire Kosdaq market cap.

If listed on the Kospi market, Celltrion would become the 25th largest in the whole market and the second-largest Kospi-listed biopharmaceutical firm, following Samsung BioLogics.

The No. 2 spot goes to its marketer and supplier Celltrion Healthcare, which was listed on the Kosdaq market in July, with 6.7 trillion won in market cap, or over 3 percent of the Kosdaq market’s total net worth.

Celltrion closed at 110,200 won Thursday, up 1.57 percent from a day before.

By Son Ji-hyoung