Caixin
Sep 18, 2021 05:54 AM
BUSINESS

Hong Kong’s Prenetics to Go Public in U.S. via $1.7 Billion SPAC Deal

What’s New: Covid-testing unicorn Prenetics Group Ltd. is going public on the Nasdaq stock market via a special-purpose acquisition company with a combined equity value of $1.7 billion, the biggest among Hong Kong companies.

The biotech company will merge with Artisan Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), founded by Adrian Cheng, chief executive of New World Development and a grandson of the late Hong Kong real estate and jewelry tycoon Cheng Yu-tung.

The deal will generate $459 million in proceeds, including $339 million in cash raised by Artisan and $120 million from private investment. The transaction is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2022, the company said Thursday in a statement.

Prenetics projects its revenue will surge 215% to $205 million in 2021 and reach $600 million in 2025.

Background: Founded in 2014, Prenetics was a genetics and DNA testing company backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Ping An Insurance Group Co. The biotech company is riding a global wave of Covid-19 testing and SPAC-related deals since 2020. A SPAC is a company created for the sole purpose of acquiring a private company to go public and essentially starts as a shell company holding no assets other than cash and limited investments.

The SPAC frenzy allow companies to forgo the conventional initial public offering route for something with more certainty. The Hong Kong stock exchange Friday proposed to allow SPAC listings, seeking public comments. The proposal is limited only to institutional investors. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in April said it would increase scrutiny of accounting and growth projections of newly public startups.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Contact editors Han Wei (weihan@caixin.com) and Bob Simison (bobsimison@caixin.com)

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