(Bloomberg) -- Royalty Pharma Plc, a buyer of biopharmaceutical royalties, rose a much as 65% in its trading debut after its upsized initial public offering raised $2.18 billion with shares priced at the top the range.
Shares of Royalty Pharma opened trading Tuesday in New York at $44 after the company and existing shareholders sold 77.68 million shares for $28 each Monday, after marketing 70 million of them for $25 to $28. They were up 59% from the offer price to $44.63 at 2:27 p.m.
Royalty Pharma’s IPO, the largest on a U.S. exchange this year, further establishes the dominance of biomedical listings, even as companies such as ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. and Vroom Inc. are fueling a broader rebound.
Alternative types of new listings, especially special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, have helped buoy equity markets during the coronavirus pandemic. If Royalty Pharma’s underwriters exercise their option to sell so-called greenshoe shares, its IPO would top even the largest of those share sales, a $2.25 billion offering by the closed-end fund BlackRock Health Sciences Trust II.
New York-based company, founded in 1996 by former Lazard Ltd. investment banker Pablo Legorreta, deployed $18 billion through the end of last year to acquire royalties from academic institutions, research hospitals and nonprofits, its filings show. Its portfolio includes treatments for rare diseases, oncology, neurology, HIV, cardiology and diabetes.
“They are looking at the entire universe of proven data which allows them to make well informed decisions around which drugs will be the most commercially successful, regardless of market cycle dynamics,” Jeremy Abelson, founder and portfolio manager at Irving Investors, said in an interview. “It’s like turning a biotech company into a bond.”
In addition to Legorreta, who is the company’s chief executive officer, Royalty Pharma’s senior leadership consists of former investment bankers and research analysts.
Chris Hite, who headed Citigroup Inc.’s global health-care group for 12 years, joined Royalty Pharma in February as vice chairman. Terrance Coyne, its chief financial officer, was a biotechnology analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Its head of research and investment, Jim Reddoch, previously worked at FBR Capital Markets and Bank of America Corp. Its 11-member executive and directors board is comprised of 10 men and one woman.
Royalty Pharma has become a key part of the industry, especially with the coronavirus pandemic raising awareness of biotechnology innovation, said Bill Ford, the CEO of the growth equity firm General Atlantic and a member of Royalty Pharma’s board. Ford and General Atlantic affiliates own 11.9% of Royalty Pharma’s Class B shares, which gives them 4.9% of the voting power after the IPO, according to the company’s filings.
“There’s very deep scientific expertise and they combine that with capital solutions for the industry,” Ford said. “They have become a critical part of the whole biotech ecosystem.”
JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup and UBS Group AG led the offering. Royalty Pharma’s shares are trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol RPRX.
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