Thursday 9 September 2021 2:35 pm

Oxford Nanopore bets on London with IPO, to top up its £2.5bn valuation

Oxford Nanopore, whose DNA technology has been used to sequence global variants, is set to float in London, in a listing that could secure a valuation north of £2.5bn.

The biotech firm is the latest technology heavyweight to confirm its intentions for an initial public offering (IPO) in the UK’s capital, which has been on the receiving end of an increasing number of tech-driven listings.

Founder and CEO Gordon Sanghera said: “We believe Oxford Nanopore is ideally suited to both disrupt existing markets and create entirely new ones.

“An IPO will be a step on the journey to make our vision a reality, supporting our ambitious growth plans and enhancing our ability to innovate and grow.”

Taking on the world…from London

Beyond working on a Covid-19 test for the government, Nanopore’s technology has been used in cancer research, viral outbreak surveillance and crop science.

While the pandemic put the company on the map, Nanopore said that it sees a “substantial opportunity” in the gene sequencing market’s growth post-pandemic.

The firm is looking to offer a free float, expected to be at least 25 per cent of its issued share capital, comprised of both new shares and shareholder stock.

There had been talk of opting for Wall Street over the UK’s capital, but Sanghera ultimately decided that, “at the end of day, London for many reasons is the right place for us to float.”

“It is unusual for a life sciences company not to list on the Nasdaq, but we are a very unusual company,” he said, adding that, “We think it’s an urban myth that you can do much better on the Nasdaq, our research and data give us confidence that we’re going to be fine.

“We’re ready for prime time, we’re ready to take on the world…from London.”

Nanopore is set to pump the proceeds into its future growth, after it posted a year-on-year revenue surge of 109 per cent and a gross profit of £26.9m in the six months to 30 June.

The news follows a fundraiser in May, soon after which its holding company IP Group confirmed its 14.5 per cent stake in Nanopore was worth £359m – suggesting the firm is worth some £2.5bn in total, which will likely balloon once its share sale lands on London’s market.