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Hong Kong Biotech Startup Prenetics to List in US Thanks to PSPC Agreement

The Prenetics Ltd. logo is displayed in the company’s Hong Kong lab on July 31, 2020.

Roy Liu | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Hong Kong-based biotech company Prenetics goes public through a merger with Artisan Acquisition – a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC – in a deal that will value the combined entity at $ 1.7 billion. dollars, the companies said Thursday.

Confirming CNBC’s previous report, the two companies said the deal is expected to close as early as the fourth quarter.

This will make Prenetics the first Hong Kong unicorn, or billion dollar startup, to become a publicly traded company.

The combined company will be listed on the Nasdaq under a new ticker symbol PRE upon completion.

The merger is expected to generate up to $ 459 million in cash proceeds, which will go to strategic acquisitions, geographic expansion and research and development.

A lab technician wearing a protective suit performs the Covid-19 RT-PCR testing at the laboratory of Prenetics Ltd. in Hong Kong on Friday, July 31, 2020.

Roy Liu | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Artisan Acquisition is backed by Adrian Cheng, CEO and Executive Vice President of New World Development, a Hong Kong listed company. Prenetics seeks to build on Cheng’s business portfolio which spans retail, hospitality, healthcare and real estate.

Hong Kong-based Prenetics is a diagnostic and genetic testing company with operations in 10 countries. To date, the company has performed more than 5 million Covid-19 tests for customers including the Hong Kong government and London Heathrow Airport.

It has names like Chinese internet company Alibaba and insurers Ping An and Prudential as strategic investors.

The company has grown significantly since its inception in 2014. It forecasts 2021 revenue to triple year-over-year to $ 205 million and reach $ 600 million by 2025.