NEW YORK – 23andMe's shares rose as high as 22 percent on Thursday after the company closed its merger deal with special purpose acquisition company VG Acquisition Corp., signaling its first day as a publicly traded entity on the Nasdaq.
The company, whose shares are trading under the ticker symbol ME, first announced that it would be acquired by a SPAC sponsored by the Virgin Group in February, with the ultimate purpose of becoming publicly traded. At the time of the announcement, the deal placed 23andMe's enterprise value at approximately $3.5 billion, and the company said it expected the transaction to deliver up to $759 million of gross proceeds through the contribution of up to $509 million of cash held in VG Acquisition's trust account and a concurrent $250 million private placement of common stock, priced at $10 per share.
Since the completion of the deal, 23andMe said it raised approximately $592 million in gross proceeds, which it plans to use to drive growth and expansion in its consumer health and therapeutics businesses. Capital from the transaction will also be invested in 23andMe's genetic and phenotypic database to help accelerate personalized healthcare at scale.
CEO Anne Wojcicki and 23andMe's management team will continue to lead the combined company. As part of the business combination, Evan Lovell, Virgin Group's chief investment officer and VG Acquisition's CFO, and Peter Taylor, president of the nonprofit ECMC Foundation, will join 23andMe's board.
Citi served as lead financial adviser, capital markets adviser, and placement agent to 23andMe. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius served as the firm's legal counsel. Credit Suisse acted as lead financial adviser, capital markets adviser, and placement agent to VG Acquisition Corp. LionTree Advisors acted as financial adviser, and Davis Polk & Wardwell served as the SPAC's legal counsel.