Kim Byung-ho and Kim Hyo-jin
Shares of South Korea’s leading biosimilar manufacturer Celltrion Inc. and its marketing and distribution arm Celltrion Healthcare Co. received a boost on Thursday after the companies announced plans to buy back shares to aid their stock prices hammered by last month’s rout.
Celltrion said Thursday it will repurchase 450,000 of its own shares worth 97.9 billion won ($86 million) from Friday to Feb. 2, 2019. It also plans to buy back an additional 49.5 trillion won worth of shares held by employees by the end of the year.
Its subsidiary Celltrion Healthcare also announced in a regulatory filing it will repurchase 1.55 million common shares worth 98.7 billion won throughout the same period.
Celltrion is the fourth-largest stock on the country’s benchmark Kospi index. Celltrion Healthcare is the largest stock on the junior Kosdaq market. They became primary targets in heavy rounds of foreign selloff in October. Celltrion lost 27 percent in October, exceeding the main Kospi index retreat of 13.4 percent. Celltrion Healthcare plunged 31 percent, also faster than the Kosdaq loss of 21 percent.
“We remain firm in our conviction of the company’s core values and future growth,” said a Celltrion official. “We plan to continue strengthening our corporate governance and bolstering shareholder value.”
Shares of Celltrion closed Thursday up 4.83 percent at 228,000 won and Celltrion Healthcare up 3.92 percent at 66,200 won.