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23andMe CEO Proposes Taking Company Private

NEW YORK – 23andMe announced on Thursday that CEO Anne Wojcicki is considering a proposal to take the company private by acquiring the outstanding shares she does not yet own.

Wojcicki made the company's board of directors aware of the potential transaction in an amendment to her Schedule 13D filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission filed late Wednesday. In that filing, she also expressed her desire to maintain control of 23andMe and therefore would not be willing to support any alternative deals.

In her filing, Wojcicki also stated that she is working on the proposal with advisers and intends to begin speaking to potential partners and financing sources.

Wojcicki currently owns more than 20 percent of the total outstanding shares, entitling her to approximately 49 percent of the voting power of the South San Francisco, California-based company's total outstanding shares.

Last month, 23andMe's board of directors formed a special committee composed of independent directors to review strategic alternatives aimed at maximizing shareholder value. That committee will also review Wojcicki's proposal, if and when it is made available.

The company said in a statement that it does not intend to comment further on this matter until it either determines that additional disclosure is appropriate or is required to by law.

23andMe has had a tumultuous past few months, having reported a data breach affecting approximately 6.9 million users in December followed by reporting a 33 percent year-over-year decline in revenues for its fiscal third quarter of 2024, driven by lower research service revenue and lower Personal Genome Service kit sales volumes.

"Shares of 23andMe have faced pressure as some biotech investors would be interested in their therapeutics business but don't want involvement in a DTC platform business while others are looking for a near-profitable and mature platform healthcare business without having to support the cash burn of their therapeutics business,” TD Cowen analyst Steven Mah wrote in a note to investors. “We view the company turning private from Ms. Wojcicki's proposal as the new most likely outcome which should be welcomed by investors.”

Shares of 23andMe were up roughly 40 percent in early morning trading on the Nasdaq, trading at approximately $.50 per share.