Business

Hong Kong biotech start-up Prenetics plans SPAC merger value $ 1.three billion

Signage for Prenetics, a Hong Kong-based biotechnology company, in the company’s laboratory in Hong Kong, China on January 26, 2018.

Anthony Kwan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Hong Kong biotech company Prenetics is set to merge with Artisan Acquisition, a purpose-built company, in a deal that will value the new venture at $ 1.3 billion or more, according to a source close to the deal.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The SPAC is already traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker ARTU.

SPACs are letterbox companies founded to raise money through an IPO – their sole purpose is to merge with an existing private company or to acquire it and take it public. They bypass the traditional Wall Street IPO.

Artisan Acquisition is supported by Adrian Cheng, CEO and Executive Vice Chairman of New World Development, a conglomerate with $ 88 billion in assets.

Prenetics is a diagnostic and genetic testing company with significant operations in Hong Kong and the UK. Founded by serial entrepreneur Danny Yeung, it will be the first multi-billion dollar startup in Hong Kong to go public.

A technician processes a sample in a Prenetics laboratory in Hong Kong, China on January 26, 2018.

Anthony Kwan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

UBS, Citi, Credit Suisse and CICC are providing financial advisor to the potential de-SPAC transaction.

Artisan raised $ 339 million in the SPAC and has signed an additional $ 60 million forward purchase contracts with investment firm Aspex and PAG, a private asset manager for institutional investors, according to the source, who requested anonymity as that person was not allowed to discuss the information public.

Talks with other pipe investors should run with strong initial demand, the source said.

The company has grown significantly since its inception in 2014, and sales are expected to exceed $ 200 million in 2021. According to the source, that would mean a growth of 400% over the previous year.

Annual sales are expected to reach $ 600 million by 2025, the source said.

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