By Teis Jensen and Shida Chayesteh
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish pharmaceuticals company Novo Nordisk has asked its fully-owned IT subsidiary NNIT to study the possibility of a separate listing on the Copenhagen stock exchange, company officials told Reuters on Wednesday.
"We don't think Novo Nordisk are the best owners, and that's why we are looking to see if we can find new co-owners," said Jesper Brandgaard, chief financial officer at Novo Nordisk and chairman of NNIT.
"Novo Nordisk's main activity is to sell pharmaceutical products, which is not a main activity for us," he said.
NNIT financial officer Carsten Thomsen said the study was prompted by the fact that NITT's revenues from clients outside Novo Nordisk should reach about 50 percent this year.
"So based on that, Novo wants to investigate the possibilities for a potential initial public offering," said Thomsen, who recently joined NNIT in connection with the study.
Brandgaard said he expected the study to be finalized before the end of the year. Among other things, it should clarify the value of NNIT and how large a portion of the company Novo Nordisk should hold after a possible IPO.
In many similar cases, selling company have initially kept between 60 and 70 percent of the shares after an IPO.
Brandgaard said the company has not chosen its financial advisers yet.
NNIT, which was separated from Novo Nordisk in 1998, employs more than 2,200 people and had turnover of about 2.2 billion Danish crowns ($403.54 million) last year. The company has specialized in IT competences within the life sciences industry.
"I believe NNIT would be able to reach a broader customer base if they are no longer standing in the shadow of Novo Nordisk," analyst Rune Dahl from DNB said.
Dahl saw an enterprise value of around 5.8 billion crowns while Soren Hansen from Sydbank valued it at up to 5 billion crowns. Michael Jorgensen from Alm. Brand Markets assessed it between 6 and 8 billion crowns.
Novo Nordisk, which is the world's largest insulin maker, has a total market cap of almost 600 billion crowns.
Shares in Novo Nordisk traded down 0.1 percent at 1500 GMT, while the Danish benchmark index was up by 0.9 percent.
(Additional reporting by Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Tom Heneghan)