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Hong Kong-Based Prenetics to go Public via SPAC

NEW YORK – Genomic and diagnostic company Prenetics announced on Thursday that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Artisan Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, to go public on the Nasdaq.

The transaction values Prenetics at an enterprise value of $1.25 billion with a combined equity value of $1.7 billion. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021 or the first quarter of 2022, the company said in a statement.

Prenetics plans to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol PRE and said it is the first Hong Kong-based unicorn to be publicly listed in any market.

As a result of its merger with Artisan, Prenetics will receive proceeds of up to $459 million in cash, including the contribution of up to $339 million currently held in Artisan's trust and forward purchase agreements of $120 million from Aspex, PAG, Lippo, Dragonstone, Xen Capital, and others.

"With a strong existing business, an exciting product pipeline, and a clear M&A acquisition strategy for USA geographical expansion, we have first-mover advantage and are well-positioned for our next chapter of growth," Prenetics CEO and Cofounder Danny Yeung said in a statement.

Prenetics estimates 2021 revenues will more than triple to $205 million in 2021 from $65 million in 2020, it said.

The company currently offers a CE-marked point-of-care and at-home rapid detection test system for infectious diseases called Circle HealthPod. It began with a focus on COVID-19, although the company is also developing tests for influenza and sexually transmitted diseases, it said. Prenetics is aiming to get Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration for the platform by the first quarter of 2022.

Prenetics also has its CircleDNA brand, which offers whole-exome sequencing directly to consumers, and in 2020 participated in the launch of Project Screen, a nonprofit that provides at-home PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2. It has a multiyear research and development collaboration with the University of Oxford focused on the development of molecular diagnostics and new tests, the company said.

It is also planning to launch a noninvasive colon cancer stool DNA test, developed by New Horizon Health, and an at-home blood collection device in 2022.