(Bloomberg) – Biotech firm LianBio has raised $ 325 million in an initial public offering, according to a statement, potentially opening a narrow path for listings in the United States by companies operating primarily in China.

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The company sold 20.3 million U.S. custodian shares for $ 16 apiece after selling them for between $ 15 and $ 17, according to a statement on Sunday. Each ADS represents one common share.

At the IPO price, LianBio would have a market value of $ 1.68 billion based on the outstanding shares listed in its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. After taking into account stock options and employee warrants, the company would have a fully diluted value of approximately $ 1.88 billion.

The biotech company was founded by New York-based private equity fund Perceptive Advisors, and the company and its affiliates will control 50.5% of LianBio as a result of the offer, according to its prospectus. LianBio, headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey and Shanghai, operates primarily through subsidiaries in China.

IPOs of Chinese companies in the United States have all but disappeared since July, when Beijing announced a cybersecurity investigation of Didi Global Inc. just days after it listed in New York. The escalation of an apparent crackdown on Chinese companies has wiped out about $ 1 trillion from the aggregate market value of its listed companies. The SEC recently asked detailed questions of companies with ties to China, and even Hong Kong-based companies with little to no mainland presence have warned of the risks.

Including the $ 4.4 billion Didi IPO on June 30, 46 China and Hong Kong-based companies raised more than $ 15 billion in the first half of the year in the United States, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Since then, only five of those companies have raised a combined $ 329 million, according to the data.

The similarities between LianBio’s offering and Chinese companies like Didi are limited. The biotech company does not hold personally identifiable patient data in China, nor any variable interest entity in its corporate structure, according to the prospectus. VIEs create a foreign shell company outside of China and were used extensively by issuers in the country until they came under close scrutiny by Beijing authorities under strict new rules on quotes abroad.

Yet LianBio stated in the front page of its prospectus that there are “significant legal and operational risks associated with having the majority of our operations in China,” including potential changes in legal policies, policies and procedures. the Chinese government.

The company revised its documents with the SEC to clarify that the auditors who inspected its reports were US auditors.

LianBio is focusing on licensed assets for Greater China and other Asian markets, according to its documents. It has a pipeline of nine active ingredients in the fields of cardiovascular, oncological, ophthalmological, inflammatory and respiratory indications. The company recorded nearly $ 140 million in losses in 2020 and $ 162 million for the six-month period ended June.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Jefferies Financial Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. lead the offer. The shares are expected to start trading on the Nasdaq Global Market on Monday under the symbol LIAN.

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