French Neovacs cuts IPO ambitions

PARIS, April 9 Fri Apr 9, 2010 7:28am EDT

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PARIS, April 9 (Reuters) - French biotech company Neovacs (ALNEV.PA) on Friday lowered its capital raising ambitions for an initial public offering (IPO) this month to 11 million euros, instead of the 20 million euros previously sought.

"It shows a certain lack of appetite from investors," said a Paris-based analyst who declined to be named.

The new indicative price range for the offering will be 4.8-5.6 euros, the company said in a statement, down from the 5.2-6.0 euros it had announced earlier.

Neovacs, a spin-off from Pierre & Marie Curie University in Paris that develops immunotherapy technology, is not alone in testing investors' appetite for IPOs, after two years of inactivity on the Paris market.

Care home operator Medica MDCA.PA also had to cut the price for its IPO by about a quarter earlier this year, while another French biotech, AB Science, will fix its final price on April 21, with trading beginning the following day.

"It will be interesting to see what happens with AB Science, so we can see if it was Neovacs's business model that was not attractive enough. But investors seem rather interested in AB Science so far," the analyst added.

Neovacs will now offer 2.3 million new shares or 17.55 percent of its capital, against 27.46 percent in the previous offer. Subscription runs until April 14 and trading starts on April 21.

Truffle Capital, Novartis Venture fund (NOVN.VX) and OTC Asset Management currently own a combined 73 percent of Neovacs capital. Novartis Venture fund alone has 20 percent.

For a recent interview with Neovacs, double click on: [ID:nLDE62H1DP] (Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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