Elanco Animal Health's shares climbed 40 percent in their stock market debut on Thursday, in a sign of investor enthusiasm for the fast-growing pet healthcare market.
Shares of Elanco, a unit of U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly, opened at $32.25 on the New York Stock Exchange, higher than their IPO price of $24 a share and giving the company a market value of $11.49 billion. Around 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, the shares (ELAN.N) were trading at $33.64, up $9.64, or 40.17%.
Elanco raised $1.51 billion from the offering, which it expects to largely pass on to Lilly.
Lilly is expected to own about 82 percent of Elanco after the IPO, which the drugmaker announced in July following a nine-month review of its businesses that include drugs for diabetes and lung cancer.
Elanco sells medicines for both pets and livestock, and its Rumensin cattle feed additive is responsible for some 10 percent of its roughly $2.9 billion in annual sales.
But rising demand for its pet healthcare products - including flea and tick elimination and heartworm prevention treatments - has driven much of Elanco's business in recent years, propelling the company to No. 4 globally in the list of largest animal healthcare groups by revenue.
The pet medicine and vaccine market is largely dominated by Pfizer Inc's animal health unit and Zoetis, which raised $2.2 billion in a 2013 IPO.
Zoetis' shares have nearly tripled since then and many analysts expect Elanco will replicate that success in an industry projected by Vetnosis to grow at 5 percent from 2017 to 2023.
Elanco's listing also should also deliver more value to Lilly shareholders and help the company as it sharpens focus on cancer treatments and looks beyond the recent failure in trials of its experimental Alzheimer's drug.
Elanco's 16-member IPO underwriting team included Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Bank of America and Citigroup.
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