Adrian Cheng’s SPAC tie-up with Prenetics to help fuel acquisitions by Hong Kong diagnostics testing company
- Prenetics will list on Nasdaq following merger with Artisan Acquisition, a blank cheque company backed by the Hong Kong tycoon
- Deal values the genetics and diagnostic health testing unicorn at US$1.25 billion
Prenetics is expected to list on Nasdaq following the merger, which is expected to close by the first quarter of next year. The company’s existing investors are expected to transfer 100 per cent of their equity into the combined company.
“We will have over US$400 million in cash that we will be able to deploy for M&A,” Prenetics CEO Danny Yueng Sheng-wu told the Post. “We’re looking at acquisitions right now: companies that are in the rapid diagnostics space, companies that are in genomics, companies that are in health technology.”
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“It was our core mission to seek out a high-impact and high-growth global company, and I am very pleased that we have found it with Prenetics,” Cheng said in a statement. “We share the vision to provide easily accessible and decentralised health care services to millions of people globally. I look forward to this ongoing partnership and, together, creating greater shared value for all.”
Prenetics will receive US$459 million in cash from the transaction, including US$120 million in so-called private investment in public equity (PIPE) financing. PIPE investors include Aspex, private equity firm PAG and Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group.
It hopes to receive approval for the HealthPod device from the US Food and Drug Administration by the first quarter of 2022. It also plans to introduce additional tests with the HealthPod for flu and HIV next year.
Prenetics is Yueng’s fourth company and its US listing represents an important step forward in the acceptance of start-up culture in Hong Kong, he said.
“This is a huge milestone for Prenetics and equally important for Hong Kong entrepreneurs. This represents the first [Hong Kong] unicorn to exit in any market,” Yueng said. “As I get older in my entrepreneur career, I want to be able to help inspire and provide hope for other entrepreneurs here in Hong Kong and also for the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
Cheng is one of several wealthy investors in Hong Kong who have jumped on the SPAC bandwagon.
UBS is advising Artisan, while Citigroup is advising Prenetics.