KARACHI: Pakistan-based Citi Pharma after attracting around Rs2.8 billion by offering a 35 per cent stake to institutional and ordinary investors in an initial public offer (IPO) is ready to offer shares to retail investors this week.

The book-building phase of the IPO was held on June 15-16 where high net worth individuals and financial institutions participated. The public subscription for the retail portion for the IPO is scheduled to be held on June 23 and June 24. People interested in retail investments are advised to register for the IPO through the E-IPO platform.

Although the company makes many drugs for consumers, its major source of revenue is the manufacturing and sale of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) — key substances that make a finished pharmaceutical product. Major drug makers like GlaxoSmithKline, The Searle Company, Barret Hodgson and Martin Dow buy their APIs from Citi Pharma. In particular, Citi Pharma sells paracetamol, an API used in painkillers, to GlaxoSmithKline that mixes it with other chemical salts and sells under the renowned brand of Panadol.

Citi Pharma is raising new funds for three major reasons. Firstly, the company is planning to expand its existing capacity of 3,600 tonnes per annum of paracetamol to 6,000 tonnes per annum.

That’s partly because the demand for paracetamol has surged in the wake of Covid-19. In addition, the company plans to add new APIs as well as pharmaceutical formulations (final products) to its existing product line.

The author is a senior business and economy journalist . He has worked for leading local and international news organisations.

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