Ginkgo to Merge with Harry SloanLed SPAC in 17.5B Deal

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Reuters Ginkgo said on Tuesday it was planning to go public through a merger with a blankcheck vehicle backed by former Hollywood executives Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky, in one of the biggest such deals that values the biotech company at 17.5 billion.

The merger is expected to fetch 2.5 billion in proceeds for the combined entity, the companies said, including 775 million from institutional investors such as Baillie Gifford, Putnam Investments and accounts advised by ARK Investment Management. Reuters reported on the companys plans last month.

Founded by a team of scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009, Ginkgo makes genetic engineering tools for industries across agriculture, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. It currently runs 70 programs with customers including Moderna and Cargill.

The deal gives Ginkgo a premoney equity valuation of 15 billion. The company was valued at 4.86 billion during a private raise in May 2020, according to PitchBook data. Its also backed by Bill Gates private investment firm Cascade Investment.

Raising capital allows us to build bigger facilities and add support services that make it easier for people to develop on our platform. The public market is a good source of that, Ginkgo cofounder and Chief Executive Officer Jason Kelly said.

Bostonbased Ginkgo expects 150 million in revenue in 2021, a 96 jump from a year earlier. It received a 1.1 billion loan from the U.S. government in November for COVID19 testing and…

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