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Benitec Biopharma Targets IPO on the NASDAQ

Benitec Biopharma Targets IPO on the NASDAQ
Jun 23, 2015 By Imran Valibhoy

Australian based biotechnology company, Benitec Biopharma (AX: BLT), has announced that the company plans to list on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol BNTC. On the 22nd June Benitec filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in regards to an IPO in the United States.

Benitec Biopharma, founded and listed on the ASX in 1997, is a biotechnology company specialising in developing long lasting treatments and potential cures for a variety of life threatening and chronic human diseases, based on proprietary gene-silencing technology called ddRNAi. Their current focus is on Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, lung cancer and wet Age-related Macular Degeneration, as well as the orphan genetic disease, oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy.

Benitec’s listing on the NASDAQ will be in the form of 5,750,000 American Depositary Shares, representing 115,000,000 fully paid ordinary shares, in order to raise between US$60-70 million. The total number of ADS’s will be determined by Benitec and their underwriters, BMO Capital Markets, in late July.

Benitec believes an IPO is the best and most efficient way to access to the US equity markets and plans to use the raised capital to further enhance the company’s therapeutic programs. The IPO is currently still subject to shareholder approval and the price for the ADS’s has not been confirmed. An extraordinary general meeting will be held on the 22 July 2015 in order to gain approval from shareholders as per the ASX Listing Rules. In the event that the IPO takes place, Benitec will maintain is primary listing on the ASX in AU dollars and commence a secondary listing on the NASDAQ in US dollars.

Benitec’s share price on the ASX has seen a steady downtrend in the last 12 months. More recently their price has found some support in and around 75-85 cents. Closing yesterday at 75c, the share price has jumped modestly this morning by 1.29 percent following the announcement and is currently trading within that range at 79c.

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Imran Valibhoy Author: Imran Valibhoy Jun 23, 2015

Since Joining the firm in 2006, Imran has worked on a range of M&A and Capital Market transactions in the natural resources, mining as well as projects in the renewable energy sector. Prior to joining Wise-owl, Imran worked at Euroz Securities in Perth, aiding in the advisory and valuation of companies in the mining and industrial sectors in Australia. Imran has a Masters in Banking & Finance from City University's Class Business School in London and a Bacheloor degree in Commerce from UWA.

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