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Testing kit maker Solgent gears up for IPO

DiaPlexQ novel coronavirus detection kit. (Courtesy of Solgent)
DiaPlexQ novel coronavirus detection kit. (Courtesy of Solgent)
South Korean genetic technology firm Solgent has picked local brokerage Mirae Asset Daewoo as an underwriter for its initial public offering, buoyed by sales of its diagnostic kits for the novel coronavirus, the company said Thursday.

The Daejeon-based company and the underwriter are in the nascent stages of the IPO process, which precedes its listing on the development bourse Kosdaq. Details as to when the company will be listed and which option it will go for have yet to be determined.

“Solgent has just selected an underwriter to go public, so we have not started a working-level discussion,” a company PR representative said.

The initial step toward an IPO is followed by an audit, due diligence, a listing eligibility review by the Korea Exchange and a public offering. An underwriter is responsible for offering stocks to the public and protecting investors in the offered shares.

Founded in 2000, Solgent is dedicated to molecular diagnosis technologies, which enable detection of the nucleic acid of the novel coronavirus, using the principle of real-time RT PCR. Its major shareholders include the Korea-based Eone Diagnomics Genome Center, which had 17.03 percent ownership as of end-2019.

Solgent registered revenue of 6.41 billion won ($5.2 million) in 2019 and a 208.23 million won net loss. An upshot in sales for this year is highly likely, given a series of contracts it has signed with countries in need of coronavirus testing kits. Solgent exports the kits to countries including the Philippines, Ukraine, Poland and the United States.

By Son Ji-hyoung (
Korea Herald Youtube