Oxford Nanopore Plans Listing in Big Boost to U.K. IPO Market

DNA sequencing firm Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd. plans to list on the London Stock Exchange in the second half of the year, delivering a major win for the City in its effort to position itself as an attractive venue for initial public offerings in a post-Brexit world.

A listing will give the company access to “deeper, international pools of capital” for its growth plans, Oxford Nanopore said in a statement on its website on Tuesday. The timing of the IPO is dependent on market conditions, it said.

IP Group Plc, which owns 15% of Oxford Nanopore, rose 1.5% to 121.80 pence at 12:48 p.m. in London. Oxford Nanopore is worth 2.3 billion pounds based on the valuation that IP Group assigns to its stake. Analysts at Berenberg wrote in a report this month that the Oxford Nanopore “could comfortably” reach a valuation of more than 4 billion pounds in its next fundraising.

Oxford Nanopore’s IPO plan comes a day before food-delivery startup Deliveroo Holdings Plc is set to start trading on the LSE. The U.K. is keen to keep its homegrown unicorns from fleeing to the U.S. in search of investors, and is examining an array of new rules including giving founders greater control over their companies even going public, like allowing dual-class share structures on the premium segment of the listing venue.

Like other companies tapping the IPO market, Oxford Nanopore, a spinout from the University of Oxford, is listing on the back of a pandemic boost. The company supplies the U.K. with LamPORE tests, which use DNA and RNA sequencing to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19.

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