Demand for a re-listing of Celltrion Inc., a South Korean biopharmaceutical company and No. 1 stock on the secondary Kosdaq by market capitalization, in the primary Kospi is growing among its minority shareholders, but the company said it has no specific plan yet to exit the Kosdaq market.
According to multiple sources from the financial investment industry on Monday, the minority shareholders operation committee has launched a petition to ask other shareholders for consent to open an extraordinary shareholders meeting to discuss a possible re-listing of the company shares in the Kospi market. The petition comes after the Kosdaq bellwether has often become a main target of short sellers in the choppy secondary market.
It was first raised by one minority shareholder on August 4 who put up an online post claiming that “Celltrion’s minority shareholders have fallen victims to aggressive short-selling for several years” and “despite solid earnings growth and successful development of new drugs, the company shares have been dragged down by short-selling again this month.”
The shareholder urged others to sign the petition, adding that the company’s move to the main bourse should bring in more capital from not only local institutions but also overseas investors. It would also allow the company to attract long-term, stable investment from pension funds including the country’s largest institutional investor National Pension Service (NPS), the company’s minority shareholders anticipated.
As of Monday, about 6,800 Celltrion shareholders have signed for an extraordinary shareholders meeting. According to the country’s commercial law, shareholders with total 3 percent or more shares in the company can call for an extraordinary meeting.
On expectation for the re-listing on the Kospi, shares of Celltrion closed at 108,200 won ($95.9) on Monday, up 5.46 percent, or 5,600 won, from the previous session.
Yoo Byung-sam, head of management at Celltrion, said in a phone interview with Maeil Business Newspaper that the company will review the re-listing request once an extraordinary shareholders meeting is convened, but said that so far there has not been any internal discussion about it.
By Lee Yong-gun and Chung Woo-sung
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]