Biocon says to take Syngene unit public

Biocon Ltd will list its research services business arm Syngene by selling up to 15 percent stake in a public offer, the company said, after reporting third-quarter earnings.

Mumbai: Biocon Ltd will list its research services business arm Syngene by selling up to 15 percent stake in a public offer, the company said, after reporting third-quarter earnings.

Biocon had previously said it planned to list Syngene but had not given a timeline. Late on Thursday, it said its board had approved starting the process of listing and hiring merchant bankers to sell 10-15 percent from Biocon`s majority stake in the unit in the public offer.

Separately, Biocon agreed with Gilead Sciences Inc to licence its chronic hepatitis-C product range, it said in a statement.

For the three months to Dec. 31, Biocon reported a net profit of 910 million rupees, down 13 percent from a year earlier, as research and development expenses more than doubled.

The jump in research and development expenses reflected advances made in multiple R&D programmes, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Biocon`s chairwoman and managing director, said in the statement.