Swedish drug firm plans tax-fuelled shift to Dublin
Cortendo prospectus submitted to Central Bank
Cortendo focuses on developing drugs to treat rare endocrine diseases, including the potentially fatal Cushing’s and acromegaly, inflammation of the hands and feet that can lead to diabetes.
Cortendo, a Swedish-American biopharmaceutical company that has invested millions developing treatments for rare conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome, is the latest global drug company to propose a move to Ireland for tax reasons.
The company operates from Pennsylvania, is listed in Norway but is incorporated in Sweden.
In recent days it told its investors it had submitted a prospectus to the Central Bank relating to the establishment of a Dublin-based public limited company.
Cortendo is proposing that the new Dublin company would become the parent of the group, replacing its current Swedish domicile. The Irish company would buy all of the outstanding stock in the current Cortendo parent, paying investors with an issuance of depositary receipts.
Depositary receipts have become popular financial instruments in the biopharma industry, and are typically used by non-US drug companies that want to trade in over-the-counter and traditional US markets.
Cortendo told its shareholders the move to Ireland “will have the effect of facilitating tax-efficient allocations of capital [and] tax-efficient returns of capital to shareholders”.
“Furthermore, the board expects that certain features of Irish company law will enable the Cortendo group to operate more flexibly and efficiently,” the company said.
Cortendo had not yet responded to a request prior to publication for details on what, if any, staff or operations would be shifted to Dublin as part of the move.
The company last month indicated it may seek to list its shares in the United States, although it did not discuss a valuation. It set up its Irish unit in May, according to company filings.
The company focuses on developing drugs to treat rare endocrine diseases, including the potentially fatal Cushing’s and acromegaly, inflammation of the hands and feet that can lead to diabetes.
Its main drugs have not yet been commercialised but it has high hopes for its treatment for Cushing’s , which is at a late stage of development. The company’s latest annual report shows an operating loss of about €8 million.