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Exits, IPO, Private Equity

Chinese Genomics Giant BGI Makes Another Try For Shenzhen IPO

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Shenzhen-based Chinese gene sequencing giant BGI Genomics Co., Ltd is making another try for a listing on the ChiNext board of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, seeking to raise US$250 million by issuing 40 million new shares, after its previous application was rejected last November.

The company has previously considered listing in the U.S., Hong Kong, as well as an A-share float via a reverse merger, but all failed to materialize. Its last attempt to list on the ChiNext, a NASDAQ-style board in Shenzhen, was terminated by regulators because of incomplete documentation.

According to its latest filings, Beijing-based BGI recorded revenues of RMB1.71 billion (US$250 million) and operating profit of RMB382 million (US$55 million) in 2016.

Its income mainly comes from fertilization and health service, basic research service, complex disease service, and drugs research service. In 2016, fertilization and health service accounted for 54.62% of its total income, worth RMB929 million (US$134 million).

China National Tobacco Corp., Meinian Onehealth Healthcare Holdings and the University of Oxford were some of its largest clients in 2016.

BGI Holdings, the parent company controlled by founder Wang Jian and others, owns 42.42% of BGI Genomics directly and indirectly. Wang Jian, BGI’s founder, owns 85.30% of BGI Holdings, while Wang Jun, another co-founder who later established AI-powered precision health unicorn iCarbonX, owns 10.5% of BGI Holdings.

BGI Tech, a unit providing contract sequencing services that was later merged into BGI genomics, received a RMB1.39 billion (US$205 million) funding round led by China Everbright Investment Management Ltd in 2012, with participation from Sequoia Capital China, Yunfeng Capital, Greenwoods Asset Management and SB China Venture Capital. The company was valued at RMB3.3 billion (US$480 million) post-money.

In 2015, the company raised a RMB2 billion (US$290 million) round from Chinese insurer Taikang Life.

According to the IPO prospectus, the company’s shareholders also include Shenzhen Capital Group Co., Ltd and State Development & Investment Corp.

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