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British healthtech company Babylon to go public in $4.2bn ‘blank-cheque’ merger

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British healthcare tech company Babylon is going public in the US via a $4.2bn (£3bn) so-called “blank-cheque” merger.

The company, which is considered one of the UK’s biggest tech success stories, provides online consultations with healthcare professionals through its app.

It services are used by 24 million people. In England, this includes allowing NHS patients to register with its virtual GP, via a contract with the health service.

It will now list its shares on the US stock exchange Nasdaq through a merger with Alkuri Global Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company.

Babylon founder and chief executive Dr Ali Parsa said: “We have achieved one of the highest growth rates every year since our inception, with consistently high clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

“Becoming a public company is just another step in our journey. We are at the very beginning of our work to re-imagine our sector, to make it digital-first and prevention-first and shift the focus away from sick care to true health care.”

Special purpose acquisition companies, otherwise known as Spacs and sometimes “blank-cheque companies” are entities which float on the stock market and then have a limited time in which to find a business to buy. Proponents of the model say that SPACs offer a faster route to a public listing than a traditional IPO (initial public offering).

Alkuri is led by Rich Williams, who was formerly chief executive of voucher website Groupon until his abrupt exit in March last year.

“When we founded Alkuri, we set out to identify high-potential, disruptive companies with visionary founders and strong teams,” said Mr Williams.

“Babylon is all of those things, and we’re excited to work with them on their truly world-changing mission.”

Spacs were first invented in the 1990s, but have exploded in popularity in the past year, with several well-known companies choosing the route to market, including office provider WeWork, DNA testing group 23andMe, and trading cards maker Topps.


All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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