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Oxford Nanopore announces London IPO after hitting $3.3 billion valuation

·2-min read

By Yadarisa Shabong and Abhinav Ramnarayan

(Reuters) -Oxford Nanopore, a provider of rapid COVID-19 tests to Britain's national health service, announced a London listing on Thursday as it aims to build on the 2.4 billion pound ($3.3 billion) valuation it achieved in its latest funding round.

The life sciences company is planning a free float of at least 25% of its shares in the initial public offering (IPO) and said it was aiming to reduce its losses to breakeven in the next five years.

A successful deal would be a major coup for the London Stock Exchange as most British pharma and life science companies tend to list on New York's Nasdaq, home to the world's biggest drugmakers.

"The mood music in London is good, the Hill review is an encouraging development," Oxford Nanopore chief executive and co-founder Gordon Sanghera told journalists in a call, referring to a recent review of regulation in the British capital that aims to make it more attractive for companies to list on its stock market.

"We as a company are already a global tech player and have a global shareholder base, and when we did an analysis we realised the shareholders you will pick up in London are a similar quality to those you would pick up in New York," he added.

One of the mooted rule changes will allow companies with a dual-class share structure to obtain a "premium" listing in London for the first time, which enables access to the powerful FTSE indices.

Oxford Nanopore, which will have enhanced shareholder rights for the chief executive designed to prevent a hostile takeover, plans to apply for a premium listing once the rule changes come into effect Sanghera said.

The company, which counts IP Group and Singapore's Temasek among its shareholders, provides DNA/RNA sequencing technology for sectors such as biomedical, infectious diseases and food and agriculture.

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 a record volumes of new listings.

Bank of America, Citi and JPMorgan are global coordinators for the float.

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 and value the company at 2.4 billion pounds.

($1 = 0.7240 pounds)

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Rachel Armstrong)

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