UPDATE 2-PolyPeptide shares surge on Swiss market debut

(Adds share price)

ZURICH, April 29 (Reuters) - Shares in PolyPeptide Group rose by nearly a fifth in early trading on Thursday as the contract drugmaker made its Swiss market debut.

The stock touched 76 Swiss francs in the first few minutes of trade, well above the 64 francs at which the initial public offering was priced, before easing to 74.71 francs by 0726 GMT, up 16.7%.

That pricing implied a market capitalisation of 2.12 billion Swiss francs ($2.33 billion).

Controlled by a foundation of Swedish billionaire adventurer Frederik Paulsen Jr., the company makes ingredients for U.S.-based Novavax Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

It placed existing shares and a primary offering, with some proceeds to go for potential acquisitions.

It joins peptides maker Bachem, PolyPeptide’s biggest competitor, on the Swiss exchange.

PolyPeptide’s free float amounts to approximately 35% before any exercise of overallotment option and 40% if the overallotment option is exercised in full, it said.

The company has six facilities in Europe, the United States and India, with 900 employees and 2020 revenue of 223 million euros ($270.6 million).

Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and BofA Securities are the IPO’s joint global coordinators and bookrunners. Berenberg, Danske Bank and Zuercher Kantonalbank are bookrunners. Rothschild & Co is advising PolyPeptide.

($1 = 0.9096 Swiss francs)

$1 = 0.8241 euros Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Jane Merriman