Belgian drugmaker Movetis priced its initial public offering at 12.25 euros on Thursday -- just below the middle of an indicated range of 11.25-14.25 euros, a further sign of the resurgence of the European IPO market.
The flotation marks the largest IPO in Belgium since zinc and lead company Nyrstar raised about 1.74 billion euros ($2.63 billion) in Oct. 2007.
It will also be the largest IPO of a pharmaceutical company in Europe since December 2007, when Spain's Rovi raised 177 million euros, according to Thomson Reuters data.
I think if people present solid business cases and address a number of criteria then I think our case would suggest that the market is open, Chief Executive Dirk Reyn told Reuters.
The investor base in Belgium and also the retail market has had successes with some of these stories (drug companies) and it seems to continue to be interested in this type of proposition, he said, adding that investors were looking for companies that were making money, or close to doing so.
Movetis said it raised 85 million euros, the amount it predicted in November, by issuing 6.9 million new shares, representing about 35 percent of the company. The stock is expected to start trading on Friday.
The issue was backed by Sofinnova, Life Sciences Partners, GIMV, KBC, Biotech Fonds Vlaanderen, Quest for Growth, and BIP.
If an over-allotment option is exercised in full, the total capital increase will be as much as 97.75 million euros.
The gastrointestinal specialist plans to use the cash to help fund the European launch of its lead product Resolor, which treats chronic constipation in women and was approved for sale in Europe in October.
Movetis was founded in 2006 as a spin-out from Johnson & Johnson, which retains the rights to sell Resolor, also known as prucalopride, in much of the world.
Belgian chemical company Taminco is also planning to float on Euronext Brussels, Belgian media have said, and could raise about 500 million euros in the spring of 2010.
Europe's IPO market has lagged Asia and the United States this year, with volumes of $741 million in the first three quarters dwarfed by Asia's $35 billion and less than one-tenth of U.S. volumes.
But the fourth quarter has seen a pick-up with $4.1 billion of IPOs in Europe up to early November, according to Thomson Reuters data. [ID:nLA535360]
Earlier on Thursday, Italian online retailer Yoox saw its shares jump above their high-end issue price at their debut, tapping into reviving investor appetite for equities in the first initial public offering in Milan in 20 months.
The Movetis IPO is being led by Credit Suisse and KBC Securities as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners. Piper Jaffray is acting as co-manager.
(Editing by Simon Jessop and Elaine Hardcastle)