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Ginkgo Bioworks Acquires Dutch DNA Biotech

NEW YORK – Ginkgo Bioworks said on Monday that it has signed a purchase agreement to acquire Netherlands-based Dutch DNA Biotech for an undisclosed sum.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ginkgo will acquire 100 percent of Dutch DNA's shares through a combination of cash and equity. In addition, certain stakeholders of Dutch DNA will receive earn-out payments on the achievement of one or more technical and commercialization milestones. The acquisition is expected to close in July.

Dutch DNA was created in 2015 as a management buyout from the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research. The company develops and supplies fungal biotechnology processes for the industrial production of enzymes, proteins, and organic acids and has created a platform technology for the development of fungal strains and fermentation processes for protein and organic acid production, Ginkgo said.

Dutch DNA also has expertise in filamentous fungi, which are used to make many industrial products, such as the enzymes in laundry detergent and proteins for food. Ginkgo said it plans to integrate Dutch DNA's team, assets, and operations into the broader Ginkgo platform for cell programming, and will expand its operations internationally for the first time.

"Where software platforms lean on a codebase of software development kits, you can think of cell programming platforms using cell development kits (CDKs) to enable new applications. Dutch DNA has the most exciting fungal CDK we have seen, and their work with filamentous fungi is truly differentiating," Ginkgo CEO Jason Kelly said in a statement. "Their expertise in developing and engineering these strains, combined with Ginkgo's automated and high-throughput foundry, will help us provide best-in-class production hosts to our customers developing protein and enzyme products unlike anything currently available on the market."

The news of the acquisition comes less than a week after Ginkgo announced it had entered an agreement to merge with special purpose acquisition company Soaring Eagle Acquisition with the purpose of going public on the Nasdaq Global Market. The transaction implies a $15.0 billion pre-money equity valuation for Ginkgo and is expected to provide up to $2.5 billion of gross cash proceeds, which the company said will be used to significantly increase the scale of its platform and accelerate the number of new programs launched on the platform every year.

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