LONDON- Oxford Nanopore, a provider of rapid COVID-19 tests to the UK’s national health service, is working with banks to launch an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange in the coming weeks - a deal that would strengthen Britain's efforts to lure life science businesses to its main market.
The company aims to build on the 2.48 billion pounds ($3.42 billion) valuation achieved in a funding round in May, two sources familiar with the matter said.
The Oxford-based life sciences firm, which counts IP Group and Singapore's Temasek among its shareholders, provides DNA/RNA sequencing technology for sectors such as biomedical, pathogen, plant and animal scientific research, infectious diseases and food and agriculture. It has also worked on rapid COVID-19 tests.
The deal will add to a crowded pipeline of share sales expected to launch in London and other European centres in the last IPO window of the year as 2021 looks set for record volumes of new listings, dominated by tech and e-commerce businesses.
The Oxford Nanopore listing is a major win for London's main market as most biotech firms typically list on the LSE's junior AIM bourse before floating on Nasdaq - home to some of the world's biggest drugmakers - after reaching a certain size.
A spokesperson for the company declined to comment.
Bank of America, Citi and JPMorgan are global coordinators for the London listing.
In May, Oxford Nanopore held a 195 million pound funding round that saw Temasek, Wellington Management, M&G Investments and Nikon becoming new investors in the company.
Existing investors including IP Group -- which holds a 14.5% stake -- contributed 70 million pounds of the total.
($1 = 0.7258 pounds)
(Reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan; Editing by Mike Harrison) ((Abhinav.Ramnarayan@thomsonreuters.com; 0044 751 745 1044; Reuters Messaging: Twitter: @abhinavvr))