Oxford Nanopore announces £109.5mn of investment and secondary share sales

Oxford Nanopore announces £109.5mn of investment and secondary share sales 1LONDON: IP Group’s portfolio company Oxford Nanopore Technologies Limited has raised £29.3 million of new capital and facilitated the secondary sale of £80.2 million of shares, an aggregate investment of £109.5 million.

IP Group is the developer of intellectual property-based businesses. Following completion of the transaction, IP Group will hold an undiluted beneficial stake of 16.4% in Oxford Nanopore, the company behind the only real-time DNA/RNA sequencer that can sequence any read length and is fully scalable from smaller portable formats to larger devices for population-scale sequencing.

The directors expect that this transaction will result in a fair value gain to the Group of approximately £12 million compared with Oxford Nanopore’s last financing round in March 2018 and that the Group’s holding will be valued at approximately £264 million. IP Group will realise £22.0 million cash from a partial sale of its holding in Oxford Nanopore as part of the secondary element of the transaction.

In addition, IP Group announced that cash realisations during 2019 totalled more than £75 million compared to the £30 million achieved in 2018. This excludes the £22 million partial realisation of Oxford Nanopore noted above. As a result, the Group anticipates that gross cash resources at 31 December 2019 will be significantly in excess of the £161 million reported at 30 June 2019.

Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive of IP Group plc, said: “We’re delighted to see another successful fundraising for Oxford Nanopore which rounds off an impressive year of commercial success and technical validation of nanopore sequencing. IP Group has continued to focus attention this year on generating realisations from our maturing portfolio and we’re pleased to report that cash exits in 2019 were more than double the amount recorded in 2018, leaving the business well-funded and well positioned for 2020.”

Oxford Nanopore noted that funds were raised from both new investors and existing shareholders from the US, Europe and Asia Pacific. The fundraising brings the total primary investment in Oxford Nanopore to approximately £480 million. Further information on the fundraising will be made available in due course.

Last month, Oxford Nanopore confirmed that its technology had been selected for the population-scale ‘Genome Program’ launched by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health. The project aims to be the first of its kind worldwide to provide citizens with their own high-quality genome as a baseline and aims to incorporate genomic data into healthcare management. Among other developments during 2019, Oxford Nanopore users reported new methods for rapid cancer and infectious disease characterisation, HLA tissue typing and food safety.

Edited by Kazim Rizvi

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