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SillaJen granted second grace period amid calls against delisting

The logo of SillaJen. (SillaJen)
The logo of SillaJen. (SillaJen)
SillaJen, a local biotech company that was given a one-year grace period and avoided delisting in November 2020 over embezzlement accusations involving its key executives, will be put on another six-month grace period, the Korea Exchange said Friday. A 22-month trading halt that began in May 2020 will remain in place.

The KRX, which decided to take the firm off from the junior Kosdaq board a month ago after the initial grace period had ended, said SillaJen will be required to prove to have lived up to its plans to improve its business performance during the second grace period and have that reviewed by outside experts.

The bourse operator will then decide whether to allow the firm to keep trading or shut down its operations based on the performance review. The meeting is expected to take place in September this year.

The review from the first grace period was not well received by the KRX, which said it was not sure about the biotech company’s ability to continue as a going concern, because there was little work on developing anti-cancer drugs, the key source of its revenue.

The KRX did not elaborate on the reason it gave the firm a second chance again this time.

Some 170,000 minority shareholders, who account for 92 percent of stake in the Kosdaq-listed company, have demanded resumption of trading.

Some of the shareholders filed a lawsuit against the KRX, saying the bourse operator was complicit in tipping insiders to cut their losses in another Kosdaq firm that holds the largest stake in SillaJen, just before the decision to delist SillaJen was made public in January. The KRX has denied the allegation.

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)
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