Mon. Oct 18th, 2021

Special purposes for acquiring businesses

The beginnings of biotechnology whose Covid-19 tests helped the English Premier League play through the pandemic merged with a US-listed specialty venture, which became Hong Kong’s first ‘unicorn’.

The agreement to incorporate Prenetics into the Nasdaq listed Artisan Acquisition company valued the genome and diagnostic biotechnology at $ 1.25 billion. In addition to the funds already raised by the Artisan Spac, which will be named Prenetics, the transaction provides a combined equity value of $ 1.7 billion.

Prenetics, founded in 2014 by Hong Kong entrepreneur Danny Yeung and receiving early investment from Alibaba, has built a reputation around genome testing and disease diagnosis, areas where it sees billions of dollars in global opportunities.

Its fate has been changed by the global health crisis, especially thanks to the role of the company instart project again“, The English Premier League will try in May 2020 to resume competition despite a constraint and avoid an estimated $ 1 billion to cancel the entire season.

The league Rental Prenetics to manage the regular testing regime for players and staff, an agreement that helped the Hong Kong business generate $ 65 million in revenue in 2020, and a $ 205 million forecast in 2021.

Other revenue streams include the provision of one-off laboratory testing services for airports in Hong Kong and Heathrow and IWG, the largest flexible office enterprise in the world.

Yeung describes the agreement, which followed a decision not to list locally, as a ‘monumental moment’ for start-ups in Hong Kong. Prenetics becomes the first ‘unicorn’ – or a start-up with a listed market value of more than $ 1 billion – out of Hong Kong, paving the way for others follow a route to list outside the Chinese territory.

Artisan is supported by Adrian Cheng, CEO of Hong Kong’s real estate and infrastructure conglomerate New World Development, which founded the Spac to look for companies in healthcare-related sectors with optimistic growth prospects in the greater China region.

People close to the company said Prenetics was in talks with ‘dozens’ of other Spacs before entering into an agreement with Cheng.

Prenetics foresees its next growth stage in the increase in demand for fast, accurate tests in homes and offices, in addition to ongoing testing to control coronavirus outbreaks.

Using technology developed at Oxford University, the company manufactured a small device — the Circle HealthPod — that takes $ 20 disposable tests at pharmacies and delivers diagnostic laboratory quality in about 20 minutes.

The $ 126 machine that the company launched last month in New World’s shopping malls, office buildings and residential developments offers only Covid-19 tests, but Prenetics plans to expand its offering to sexually transmitted disease tests.

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