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From Cell Phones to Biologics

Samsung Biologics, the contract drug-making unit of Samsung Group, debuted last week in Seoul, with the largest initial public offering seen in South Korea in six years, the Associated Press reports.

In its IPO, Samsung Biologics raised $2 billion, and on its first day of trading, the AP notes that its stock increased some 8 percent, raising its market value to more than $8 billion. Samsung Biologics, which was established in 2011, plans to use the funds raised through its IPO to finish its third factory. Samsung Biologics hasn't been profitable, according to the AP, with a net loss of $65.9 million on $118.7 million in revenues.

Still, the AP adds that Samsung wants to develop biotech as one of its core businesses, alongside semiconductor manufacturing. The company says its experience with semiconductors will aid its biotech efforts, as it's familiar with the investment and quality control needed.

"The company has included biotech and healthcare in the five businesses it named as future growth engines for the next decade, to counter slowing growth in its key consumer electronics businesses," the AP says.

At the same time, the AP notes that it's a test for Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong.