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BKL Advises on Psomagen’s IPO


Bae, Kim & Lee LLC (“BKL”) advised Psomagen, Inc., a U.S. Maryland corporation (the “Company”), on its landmark Korean IPO and listing of Korean Depositary Receipts (the “KDRs”) on the KOSDAQ Market of the Korea Exchange (the “KRX”), marking the first foreign biotech company to be listed on the KOSDAQ under the technology exception track.


The technology exception rule alleviates certain profit test requirements for companies with exceptional technology in being listed on the KRX and although this track had been available to Korean companies since 2005, the KRX only recently began allowing foreign companies to use this track in July 2019 provided that foreign companies pass stricter technology assessment requirements. The Company successfully received a technological assessment rating of “A” from both the Korea Technology Finance Corp. and Korea Enterprise Data and became the first foreign biotech company to be listed on the KOSDAQ under the technology exception track. The Company is a U.S. subsidiary of the Korean biotech company Macrogen, recently having received media attention for obtaining FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization for its laboratory-developed test (LDT) service for Covid-19.


The Korean IPO of the Company comprised of a listing of 4,200,000 KDRs on the KOSDAQ Market with the IPO size being approximately KRW 46,200,000,000, and the KDRs successfully listed on the KOSDAQ Market on July 13, 2020. On the first day of trading, the KDR price rose up to 29.61% of the IPO price, nearly reaching the daily maximum limit of 30%, and attracted great interest from investors following the recent monumental Korean IPO by SK Biopharm, another successful deal on which BKL had advised.

BKL acted as the lead counsel for this landmark Korean IPO. BKL’s IPO team, consisting of partners Hee-Gang SHIN, associates  Yelim HYON, Sae Young HONG and Garam SOHN, and  foreign attorney (State of New York) Heesug CHUNG, contributed to the success of this IPO by advising on the overall structure of the IPO, leading the overall legal due diligence process, advising on Korean legal and regulatory issues, reviewing and advising on various agreements and documents, including the underwriting agreement and the deposit agreement, required for the IPO, advising on the amendment to the Company’s constitutional documents and other internal documents to comply with the requirements for the KRX listing, actively participating and assisting in the regulatory review process with the Korean Securities Depository, the Financial Supervisory Services, etc., coordinating and cooperating with Greenberg Traurig LLP, the U.S. counsel to the Company, issuing legal opinions, and providing comprehensive legal advisory services for the success of the IPO.

Following on from BKL’s success in advising on the recently completed monumental Korean IPO by SK Biopharm, BKL’s contribution to the success of this landmark IPO was a testament of the premium status held by BKL in the IPO legal market. Furthermore, by successfully completing yet another listing of a U.S. company on the KRX after Access Bio and Englewood Lab, BKL once again proved that it is the no. 1 Korean law firm to handle complex cross-border IPOs.

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