DNA sequencing firm

Picture: PEXELS/CHOKNITI KHONGCHUM
Picture: PEXELS/CHOKNITI KHONGCHUM

DNA sequencing firm Oxford Nanopore Technologies plans to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in the second half of the year, delivering a major win for the City in its effort to position itself as an attractive venue for initial public offerings (IPO) in a post-Brexit world.

A listing will give the company access to “deeper, international pools of capital” for its growth plans, Oxford Nanopore said in a statement on its website on Tuesday. The timing of the IPO is dependent on market conditions, it said.

IP Group, which owns 15% of Oxford Nanopore, rose 1.5% to 121.80p in London. Oxford Nanopore is worth £2.3bn based on the valuation that IP Group assigns to its stake. Analysts at Berenberg wrote in a report in March that the Oxford Nanopore “could comfortably” reach a valuation of more than £4bn in its fundraising.

Oxford Nanopore’s IPO plan comes a day before food-delivery start-up Deliveroo is set to start trading on the LSE. The UK is keen to keep its home-grown unicorns from fleeing to the US in search of investors, and is examining an array of new rules including giving founders greater control over their companies even going public, such as allowing dual-class share structures on the premium segment of the listing venue.

Similar to other companies tapping the IPO market, Oxford Nanopore, a spin-off from the University of Oxford, is listing on the back of a pandemic boost. The company supplies the UK with LamPORE tests, which use DNA and RNA sequencing to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19.

Bloomberg

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