New York City: 23andMe, Inc., a leading consumer genetics and research company, and VG Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: VGAC), a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Virgin Group, on Wednesday 16 June, announced the completion of their previously announced business combination. The transaction, which was approved on June 10, 2021 by VG Acquisition Corp.’s shareholders, uniquely positions 23andMe to revolutionize personalized healthcare and therapeutic development through human genetics. The combined company is called 23andMe Holding Co. that began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) today, June 17, 2021 under the new ticker symbol “ME”.
The public debut comes after 23andMe and the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) VG Acquisition Corp. announced a merger earlier this year. The deal valued 23andMe’s outstanding shares of capital stock at $3.5 billion.
23andMe raised approximately $592 million in gross proceeds to fuel growth and expansion in the company’s consumer health and therapeutics businesses. Capital from the transaction will also be used to invest in the Company’s unique genetic and phenotypic database to help accelerate personalized healthcare at scale. CEO Anne Wojcicki and 23andMe’s management team will continue to lead the combined company.
“23andMe was founded to revolutionize healthcare by empowering people with direct access to their DNA,” said Anne Wojcicki, CEO and Co-Founder of 23andMe. “Over 11 million people have joined 23andMe and are part of the community that is using genetics to transform how we diagnose, treat and prevent human disease. As we enter the next phase as a public company, we have the opportunity to expand our impact by bringing personalized healthcare directly to everyone.”
“As one of the earliest investors in 23andMe, I’ve long believed in its vision to transform the future of healthcare,” said Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder. “I’ve seen first-hand the transformative impact 23andMe has in paving the way for many more people to be proactive about their health and wellbeing. There are huge growth opportunities ahead, and with Anne and the rest of the incredible management team at the helm, I’m confident they will continue to innovate and disrupt the industry, creating a lasting impact on many people’s lives. We look forward to continuing our partnership as 23andMe begins life as a public company.”
As part of the business combination, Evan Lovell, Chief Investment Officer of Virgin Group and Chief Financial Officer of VG Acquisition Corp., and Peter Taylor, President of ECMC Foundation, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to educational attainment for low-income students and former Chief Financial Officer for the University of California system, will join the 23andMe Board of Directors (the “Board”). Lovell and Taylor will join existing directors Roelof Botha, Patrick Chung, Richard Scheller, Neal Mohan and Anne Wojcicki on the Board.
Citi served as lead financial advisor, capital markets advisor, and placement agent to 23andMe. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP served 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 served as legal counsel to VG Acquisition Corp.
23andMe, Inc., headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, is a leading consumer genetics and research company. Founded in 2006, 23andMe’s mission is to help people access, understand, and benefit from the human genome. 23andMe has pioneered direct access to genetic information as the only company with multiple Food and Drug Administration authorizations for genetic health risk reports. 23andMe has created the world’s largest crowdsourced platform for genetic research, with 80% of its customers electing to participate. The 23andMe research platform has generated more than 180 publications on the genetic underpinnings of a wide range of diseases, conditions, and traits. The platform also powers the 23andMe therapeutics group, currently pursuing drug discovery programs rooted in human genetics across a spectrum of disease areas, including oncology, respiratory, and cardiovascular diseases, in addition to other therapeutic areas.