PARIS - Transgène set a price of FFr266.48 per ordinary share and $14.50 per American Depositary Share (ADS) for its initial public offering (IPO) in dual listing on the Nasdaq and France's Nouveau Marché.

Each ADS represents one-third of an ordinary share. The offering was closed on March 25, six days ahead of schedule, and the price was set slightly above the top end of the FFr228 to FFr265 range originally proposed. (See BioWorld International, March 11, 1998, p. 1. )

Moreover, because of the strong demand for shares on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, the number sold was raised to 1.314 million from 1.125 million. The combination of the higher volume and higher-than-expected price means the offering netted the company FFr550 million, FFr123 million more than the FFr427 million it expected to raise.

Transgène refuses to say to what extent the offering was oversubscribed or whether demand was greater in Europe or North America, indicating only that the shares were split about equally between the two continents.

Taking account of additional shares acquired by existing stockholders and the 10.4 percent stake purchased by Rockville, Md.-based Human Genome Sciences Inc. as part of a 10-year research collaboration signed March 2, Transgène has issued about 2.07 million new shares altogether, (excluding the overallotment option for underwriters of 197,100 shares).

As a result of the IPO, Transgène is now valued at around FFr1.44 billion. Two companies controlled by chairman Alain Mérieux retain a majority shareholding of about 58 percent. *