• 23andMe is a leading consumer genetics and research company that offers a personalized health and wellness experience and has built a premier genetic database to unlock insights leading to the rapid discovery of promising new targets for drug development
• Transaction will provide the capital to fund additional investment in key growth initiatives across 23andMe’s consumer health and therapeutics businesses
• The transaction will value the outstanding shares of capital stock of 23andMe at an aggregate enterprise value of approximately $3.5 billion
• 23andMe CEO and Co-Founder Anne Wojcicki and Virgin Group’s Sir Richard Branson are each investing $25 million into the $250 million PIPE and are joined by leading institutional investors including Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Altimeter Capital, Casdin Capital, and Foresite Capital
• The pro forma cash balance of the combined company will exceed $900 million at closing
• Current shareholders of 23andMe will own 81% of the combined company
SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA & NEW YORK, NY – February 4, 2021 – 23andMe, Inc., a leading consumer genetics and research company, and VG Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: VGAC), a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Virgin Group, announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. Upon completion of the transaction, estimated in the second calendar quarter of 2021, VGAC will change its New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ticker symbol, and the combined company’s securities will trade under the ticker symbol “ME”.
23andMe’s mission is to help people access, understand and benefit from the human genome. The company pioneered direct-to-consumer genetic testing, giving consumers unique, personalized information about their genetic health risks, ancestry, and traits. 23andMe is the only consumer genetic testing company with multiple FDA clearances for over-the-counter health and carrier status reports. The company is dedicated to empowering its customers with information they can use to make better decisions about their healthcare, helping them to live healthier lives.
23andMe offers its customers the option to participate in genetic research. To date, more than 80% of customers have chosen to participate. This participation, which has helped create a premier re-contactable database for genetic research, enables 23andMe to analyze genotypic and phenotypic data and to discover new genetic insights. These insights unlock future opportunities across health, therapeutics and other areas. 23andMe’s dedicated therapeutics group leverages the company’s research platform to help discover novel treatments for patients with serious unmet medical needs. The company has generated a broad pipeline of more than 30 therapeutic programs, spanning oncology, respiratory, cardiovascular diseases, and more.
“As a fellow industry disruptor as well as an early investor in 23andMe, we are thrilled to partner with Sir Richard Branson and VG Acquisition Corp. as we approach the next phase of our business, which will create new opportunities to revolutionize personalized healthcare and medicine,” said Anne Wojcicki, CEO, and Co-Founder of 23andMe. “We have always believed that healthcare needs to be driven by the consumer, and we have a huge opportunity to help personalize the entire experience at scale, allowing individuals to be more proactive about their health and wellness. Through a genetics-based approach, we fundamentally believe we can transform the continuum of healthcare.”
“Of the hundreds of companies we reviewed for our SPAC, 23andMe stands head and shoulders above the rest,” said Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder. “As an early investor, I have seen 23andMe develop into a company with enormous growth potential. Driven by Anne’s vision to empower consumers, and with our support, I’m excited to see 23andMe make a positive difference to many more people’s lives.”
Key Transaction Terms
On February 4, 2021, VG Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: VGAC) entered into a definitive agreement to combine with 23andMe through a combination of stock and cash financing. The business combination values 23andMe at an enterprise value of approximately $3.5 billion.
The transaction is expected to deliver up to $759 million of gross proceeds through the contribution of up to $509 million of cash held in VG Acquisition Corp’s trust account and a concurrent $250 million private placement (PIPE) of common stock, priced at $10.00 per share. Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group, and Anne Wojcicki, CEO and Co-Founder of 23andMe, are each investing $25 million in the PIPE and are joined by leading institutional investors, including funds managed by Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Altimeter Capital, Casdin Capital and Foresite Capital.
As part of the transaction, 23andMe’s existing equity holders will roll 100% of their equity into the combined company. Assuming no public shareholders of VG Acquisition Corp. exercise their redemption rights, 23andMe will be capitalized with up to $984 million in cash to fund operations and support new and existing growth initiatives.
The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of each of 23andMe and VG Acquisition Corp., is subject to approval by VG Acquisition Corp.’s shareholders and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close in the second calendar quarter of 2021.
A more detailed description of the transaction terms and a copy of the Agreement and Plan of Merger will be included in a current report on Form 8-K to be filed by VG Acquisition Corp. with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). VG Acquisition Corp. will file a registration statement (which will contain a proxy statement/prospectus) with the SEC in connection with the transaction.
Citi is serving as lead financial advisor, capital markets advisor, and placement agent to 23andMe. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is serving as legal counsel to 23andMe.
Credit Suisse acted as lead financial advisor, capital markets advisor and placement agent to VG Acquisition Corp. LionTree Advisors acted as financial advisor and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is serving as legal counsel to VG Acquisition Corp.
DNA testing technology company 23andMe has raised just shy of $82.5 million in new funding, from an offering of $85 million in total equity shares, according to a new SEC filing. The funding, confirmed by the Wall Street Journal, comes from investors including Sequoia Capital and NewView Capital. It brings the total raised by 23andMe to date to over $850 million.
There’s no specific agenda earmarked for this Series F round, according to a statement from the company to the WSJ, beyond general use to continue to fund and grow the business. 23andMe’s business is based on its distribution of individual home genetic testing kits, which provide customers with insights about their potential health and their family tree based on their DNA.
While the company’s pitch to individuals is improved health, and more knowledge about their ancestry and family tree, the company has also turned its attention to conducting research based on the data it has collected in aggregate, both for its own studies including a recent one that examined how genetic markers could affect a person’s susceptibility to COVID-19 and also for use in supporting the work of third parties — though it stresses that data is only shared in aggregate, de-identified formats for those purposes.
In January, 23andMe confirmed layoffs affecting roughly 14% of its global workforce. The company’s work this year around COVID-19 has, however, perhaps put the value of its platform in a new light in the face of this pandemic and the potential of future similar global health issues that may arise.
For original report, please refer to: https://mediacenter.23andme.com/press-releases/23andme-merges-with-vgac/