YSP studying move into biotech

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 19 Nov 2003

YSP Southeast Asia Holdings Bhd, which is seeking a listing on the KLSE second board, is considering an expansion into biotechnology in a move to beef up its local operations as well as research and development (R&D) capabilities. 

Its vice-president Grace Yap Yen Mee said the company had been approached by various parties to participate in biotechnology ventures.  

But the country's largest manufacturer of generic drugs has yet to make a decision. 

“At this stage, we are concentrating our efforts on producing generic pharmaceutical products, our core business,” Yap said after the company's underwriting exercise with RHB Sakura Merchant Bankers Bhd in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. 

RHB Sakura is the underwriter for 5.75 million of the 8.75 million new shares of RM1 each that would be offered at RM1.43 apiece in YSP's upcoming initial public offering (IPO). 

The company plans to offer 2.75 million shares to eligible employees, 2.5 million to private investors by way of private placement, and the balance three million to the Malaysian public under the IPO. In addition, a further 16.5 million shares would be offered to approved bumiputra investors. 

Elaborating on YSP's expansion plan, Yap said that high on the list of priorities of the company were improving its R&D activities and promoting further technology transfers from Taiwan to its local operations. This would include bringing in new products as well as expanding its current generic product lines, she said. 

The company currently has five production lines to manufacture drugs in the form of tablets, capsules, liquids, creams and suppositories. It has two more facilities to produce drugs in powder and solution form. 

The flotation would raise about RM11.3mil, of which about RM5mil would be used for renovation and extension to its production lines to make pharmaceutical products such as eye drops, injectables and antibiotics, RM4mil for land acquisition, and the balance for working capital. 

YSP began operations more than 16 years ago and has invested some RM40mil in its local operations, primarily to produce generic drugs. Its main shareholder is Taiwan-based Yun Shin Pharmaceutical Group. 

It currently has 240 pharmaceutical products including some of its own brands. At least 80% of its products are for local consumption, and the balance exported to regional markets like Singapore and Thailand. 

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