Temasek-backed Oxford Nanopore, a Covid-19 test provider, to launch $4.59 billion London IPO: Sources

The Oxford Nanopore listing is a major win for London's main market. PHOTO: OXFORD NANOPORE TECHNOLOGIES/FACEBOOK

LONDON (REUTERS) - Oxford Nanopore, a provider of rapid Covid-19 tests to Britain's national health service, is working with banks to launch an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in the coming weeks.

The deal will strengthen Britain's efforts to lure life science businesses to its main stock market.

The company aims to build on the £2.48 billion (S$4.59 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 spokesman 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 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 per cent stake - contributed £70 million of the total.

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