After others sell out, the head of Oxford Nanopore raises the UK’s scientific banner.


After others sell out, Oxford Nanopore’s CEO raises the flag for UK science

To enable the analysis of “anything, by anyone, anywhere,” Gordon Sanghera’s goal as CEO of Oxford Nanopore is reminiscent of a Martini advertisement from the 1970s.

One of those rare beasts, an independent British biotechnology company listed on the London Stock Exchange, is the genome sequencing company, which he co-founded and spun off from Oxford University in 2005.

Sanghera is determined that Oxford Nanopore stays that way rather than being acquired by a foreign party. He floated the company last fall.

In order to ward off potential predators, he is so concerned that he holds “anti-takeover shares.”

Unlike some other chief executives who have been more than willing to sell out to the highest bidder, his dedication to supporting British biotech stands in stark contrast to theirs.

British businesses that are innovative have become attractive targets as a result of the weak pound, especially for US customers.

The other directors and Sanghera, 61, are “likeminded that we are not for sale,” he claims.

The IP Group, a UK-listed company that invests in innovation, Tencent of China, and G42 of Abu Dhabi are among the company’s largest shareholders.

The company had Neil Woodford, a disgraced fund manager, as an early investor, and US investor Acacia, which purchased some of his holdings, still has a stake.

According to Sanghera’s outreach to investors, the majority of them, in his opinion, recognize that the company has value that cannot be attained through a short-term sale.

Last year, a slew of other debutantes, including the delivery service Deliveroo, joined Oxford Nanopore in entering the stock market.

In order to increase the City’s appeal for flotations, Lord Hill published a review in the spring of 2021.

But so far this year, the Ukraine conflict and rising interest rates have had a chilling effect, and shares of Oxford Nanopore have fallen precipitously.

The market was in a completely different state than it is now when we floated, according to Sanghera.

Some of them are down significantly more when compared to their peer group on Nasdaq, the US tech market.

The choice to list the company in London was contrary to the general trend for UK biotech and technology companies to list on Nasdaq.

While Cambridge-based biotech company Abcam is leaving its UK listing on AIM in favor of a US IPO, semiconductor giant Arm is currently considering a US flotation.

Tech company founders typically hold the opinion that London is a subpar location with grudging investors who find it difficult to comprehend cutting-edge science and technology.

Sanghera refuses to budge, declaring: “I..

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