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Evogene Files to Go Public in US

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Plant genomics firm Evogene plans to go public in the US with an initial public offering of up to $60 million.

The company, which trades on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, filed to go public with the US Securities and Exchange Commission late on Monday, saying it plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol "EVGN."

The Rehovot, Israel-based company did not price its shares of say how many shares it plans to offer. Credit Suisse Securities and Deutsche Bank Securities are the joint book-running managers on the planned offering. Oppenheimer & Co., and Piper Jaffray are the co-managers.

Evogene was founded in 2000 as a division of Compugen and spun off as a stand-alone firm in January 2002. In its Form F-1, it says it uses a "comprehensive and integrated technology infrastructure to enhance seed traits underlying crop performance and productivity through biotechnology and advanced breeding methods." Among its collaborators are Monsanto, Bayer, DuPont, and Syngenta.

On Monday, Evogene announced it and Syngenta extended an existing agreement to develop nematode-resistant soybeans.

In 2012, it had $17.1 million in revenues and a loss of $2.5 million. Through the first six months of 2013, it took in $8.9 million in revenues and posted a loss of $2.4 million. Cash and cash equivalents totaled $16.9 million as of June 30.

It had 188 employees as of the end of June.

The company operates in two segments. Evogene is focused on technologies to improve plant performance, while Evofuel develops improved species of the castor bean plant "for second generation feedstock intended for use in the alternative fuel industry, specifically biodiesel and biojet," it said in its SEC document.

Ofer Haviv is the firm's president and CEO, while Sigal Fattal is the CFO. Assaf Kacen is the executive vice president of technology infrastructure and Hagai Karch is the CTO and EVP of development. Assaf Oron is EVP of strategy and business development.