Zealand Pharma mulls IPO, seen worth up to $517 mln -report

COPENHAGEN, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Danish biotech Zealand Pharma is seen listing on the Copenhagen bourse in November, and is according to analysts at SEB Enskilda probably worth up to 3.2 billion crowns ($517 million), business daily Borsen said.

The Danish paper reported on Thursday, not citing sources, that corporate finance staff at SEB Enskilda SEBa.ST and Danske Bank DANSKE.CO are currently presenting Zealand Pharma to professional investors ahead of a final decision on whether to launch an initial public offer.

Zealand Pharma’s main owner, Danish private equity company Sunstone Capital, was not immediately available for a comment.

The company’s main experimental product is diabetes drug lixisenatide which belongs to the GLP-1 class of drugs that stimulate insulin release when glucose levels become too high.

If it wins marketing approval it will compete with Novo Nordisk's NOVOb.CO Victoza, and Amylin AMLN.O and Eli Lilly's LLY.N Byetta.

An analysis of Zealand Pharma by SEB Enskilda analysts, estimates that the company will be profitable from 2014, Borsen said, and will have reached sales of over 1 billion Danish crowns, with an operating profit of more than 500 million.

The analysts said the firm is probably worth between 2.8 billion and 3.2 billion crowns ($591-517 million). Lixisenatide, is seen accounting for two thirds of the value, Borsen said.

Zealand Pharma in 2003 licensed lixisenatide to French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis SASY.PA, which is conducting late-stage studies of it as a monotherapy and also in combination with its own long-acting insulin Lantus. [ID:nLDE68J0TW]

“In our model, the combination product lixisenatide/Lantus accounts for 56 percent of the value of Zealand Pharma,” Borsen quoted the analysts as saying. (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Mike Nesbit) ($1=5.417 Danish Crowns)