The Korea Herald


Celltrion to join ranks of Korea’s big businesses

By Sohn Ji-young

Published : March 21, 2016 - 15:15

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South Korean biosimilar developer Celltrion is slated to become the first ever homegrown biopharmaceutical company to be classified as a “big business.”

Last year, the value of the total assets held by Songdo-based Celltrion and its 11 affiliates surpassed 5 trillion won ($4.31 billion), which is the threshold used by the Fair Trade Commission to identify a given company as a “large corporation.”

Celltrion’s headquarters in Songdo, Incheon (Yonhap) Celltrion’s headquarters in Songdo, Incheon (Yonhap)

Celltrion’s status is slated to change before April 1, the deadline for the FTC to evaluate the checkbooks of Korean companies and make any necessary classification adjustments.

While reflecting Celltrion’s high performance, the upcoming change also signals that the firm will face a number of new restrictions that govern big corporations -- such as bans on establishing cross shareholding structures, preferential contracts and debt guarantees between company affiliates

According to the Financial Supervisory Service, Celltrion Group’s net asset value rose from 4.84 trillion won in 2014 to 5.4 trillion won in 2015.

The company cited the surge in profits to the increased sales of Remsima, a biosimilar replication of the world’s No. 3 arthritis treatment Remicade in Europe. Biosimilars refer to lower-cost copies of brand-name biologic drugs that have lost patent protection.

By Sohn Ji-young (