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Evogene Aims for $79M in Net Proceeds in Planned US IPO

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Israeli plant genomics company Evogene said in an amended registration statement filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday that it aims to raise $79 million in net proceeds through its initial public offering in the US.

Evogene said that it plans to offer 5 million shares of its common stock at a proposed maximum offering price of $17.16 per share. If the underwriters on the offering exercise their overallotment option, that figure would rise to $90 million.

Credit Suisse Securities and Deutsche Bank Securities are the joint book-running managers on the planned offering. Oppenheimer and Piper Jaffray are the co-managers. Evogene has granted them a 30-day option to purchase up to 750,000 additional shares to cover any overallotments.

The company filed to go public in the US in September, saying at the time that it intended to offer $60 million of its shares. Evogene's shares have been authorized for listing on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol "EVGN."

The firm currently trades on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. On Tuesday, the day before the amended Form S-1 was filed with SEC, the last reported sale price of Evogene's shares was ILS60.62, which translated to $17.16, the maximum proposed offering price for the US IPO.

It plans to undergo a one-for-two reverse share split of its ordinary shares, to be effected immediately prior to the completion of the IPO, it said.

Evogene said in its Form S-1/A that a principal shareholder in the company, Monsanto, has indicated an interest in purchasing up to $12 million of Evogene's shares in the offering. If it does, Monsanto would own a little more than 9 percent of Evogene's ordinary shares.

The companies said last week they expanded and extended an R&D collaboration to identify plant genes related to yield, environmental stress, and fertilizer utilization. Evogene recently reported that revenues in its third quarter increased 5 percent year over year.