Genetic testing company 23andMe announced plans to go public by merging with a SPAC controlled by Virgin Group and Sir Richard Branson. The company was founded in 2006 and is one of several firms focused on the growing category of DNA home-testing kits (in addition to more recent efforts in therapeutics). The transaction values 23andMe at $3.5B and is expected to close in Q2. Here’s the investor presentation outlining the deal.
More context: A special purpose acquisition company (a “SPAC”) allows companies to become publicly listed by combining with an existing public entity that was created solely for that purpose (i.e. the SPAC). The structure, which surged in popularity last year, provides an alternative to the traditional IPO process.