UK biotech Oxford Nanopore plans London IPO, seeks £300M funding


DNA-sequencing company Oxford Nanopore Technologies provides rapid COVID-19 tests to the NHS in Britain. Recently, the company announced that it will start trading on the London stock exchange and aims to raise £300 million from Oracle Group, which will increase its valuation to £2.4 billion.

Oxford Nanopore IPO Listing

The company is in plans to float at least 25 percent of its shares in the IPO and aims to reduce its losses to breakeven in five years from now. A successful deal will let it enter the London Stock Exchange as life science and pharma companies in Britain prefer to get listed on NASDAQ, which is home to some of the biggest drug makers.

Oxford Nanopore follows the footsteps of several big companies that have gone public in London over the past year, including the online retailer THG Plc, food-delivery startup Deliveroo Plc and fintech Wise Plc.

Prior to this, Oxford Nanopore secured £195 million funding in a round led by Temasek, Wellington Management, M&G Investments and Nikon as new investors in the company and a valuation of 2.4 billion.

Investment from Oracle

Oracle has agreed to subscribe to 150 million pounds of new shares. Eventually, Oxford Nanopore will move the generic analysis applications to the former’s cloud-computing architecture. Oracle makes rare investments in UK companies. Its latest investment was into Maxymiser, a cloud-based software provider in 2015.

Oxford Nanopore will continue to have enhanced shareholder rights for the chief executive designed to prevent a hostile takeover. It intends to apply for a premium listing once the rule changes come into effect.

The spinout from the University of Oxford supplies the UK with tests that make use of DNA and RNA sequencing to detect various strains of COVID. The technology was used during the outbreak of Ebola and Zika as well.