Former Woodford favourite Oxford Nanopore targets £300m listing


Former Woodford favourite Oxford Nanopore in potential £4bn London listing to boost ‘ambitious growth plans’

  • ON revealed plans to list last week with analysts suggesting a £4bn valuation
  •  Firm aims to raise around £300m with free float of at least 25% of share capital
  •  Biotech business does not expect to break even for at least another five years


British science pioneer Oxford Nanopore has revealed it will seek to raise approximately £300million from its London listing, which it confirmed last week.

The biotech innovator – which was held by fallen star fund manager Neil Woodford and ditched in his fund’s fire sale – said it is targeting a free float of at least 25 per cent of its issued share capital, prior to a secondary offer to be sold by certain existing shareholders.

Oxford Nanopore confirmed its intention to list last week with a reported valuation of £4billion, a figure that would net top executives a combined fortune of £150million.

Oxford Nanopore’s products can sequence genetic information in real time

The firm sells and develops nanopore sequencing products, which enable direct, real-time analysis of long DNA or RNA fragments.

At the moment it is loss-making, and does not expect to break even for at least another five years due to continuing heavy investment in research and development, reporting a loss of £73.2m in 2020 after revenues of £113.9m.

Oxford Nanopore said it is in its ‘early stages of what is possible’ and its London floatation will position the business ‘for the next stage of its development and support its ambitious growth plans’.

It added that listing would further raise the profile of the company, provide a more permanent capital structure and wider capital raising capabilities, and improve its talent pipeline.

The listing will also create a liquid market in the shares for existing and future shareholders, the firm said.

Oxford Nanopore also revealed a partnership agreement with software firm Oracle Corporation, which has agreed to subscribe for £150million of new shares in the firm.

The firm confirmed its intention to list last week with analysts predicting a valuation of £4bn

The firm confirmed its intention to list last week with analysts predicting a valuation of £4bn 

The deal will see the two companies explore ‘a number of potential new solutions to address opportunities in the applied and clinical markets, and related go-to-market strategies’.

‘The collaboration is intended to draw on the group’s strengths in sequencing and genetic analysis, together with Oracle’s strengths in database and cloud technologies,’ Oxford Nanopore said.

Oxford Nanopore made headlines in the financial press for its association to former star fund manager Neil Woodford, with the biotech business representing one of the unlisted holdings that helped worsen the spiralling liquidity crisis that lead to the collapse of Woodford Equity Income.

Woodford’s Oxford Nanopore stake was ultimately offloaded by Link Fund Solutions to Acacia Research Corporation in a £220million fire sale of a 19-strong portfolio of healthcare stocks.



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