Hong Kong and London – Lawyers from K&L Gates’ Hong Kong and London offices represented leading global genetics and diagnostic health testing company Prenetics and its wholly-owned U.K. subsidiary DNAFit in respect of its acquisition of Oxsed. The deal closed on October 29, 2020.
Oxsed is an Oxford University spin-off which developed the Oxsed RaViD test technology that provides COVID-19 test results within 15 to 30 minutes. Oxsed is led by two Chinese professors at Oxford University: chemical engineer Prof. Cui Zhanfeng and synthetic biologist Prof. Huang Wei, who recently won a President’s Special Award for Pandemic Service from the U.K. Royal Academy of Engineers in recognition of “exceptional engineering achievements in tackling COVID-19 throughout the U.K.”
The Oxsed RaViD tests are already in use at London’s Heathrow airport, and are undergoing a two-week trial at the Hong Kong International Airport. The acquisition comes ahead of the world’s first travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore to be established later this month. Governments around the world are in talks for similar travel bubble arrangements to help revive the global economy. Prenetics aims to make this technology available to millions of people globally, as part of its continued efforts to help open borders for travel, schools, sports, events, elderly care homes and more.
Stephen Lo, Chief Financial Officer of Prenetics, added: “Our collaboration with Oxford University and Oxsed on the Oxsed RaViD tests is to further our mission of making this technology available globally in hopes of minimizing large COVID-19 outbreaks. We are appreciative of the support provided by our advisors K&L Gates. They were dedicated to achieving our objectives and ensuring that this acquisition was completed efficiently and promptly.”
William Ho, Hong Kong-based corporate partner, said “It has been a great privilege to have assisted Prenetics in this transaction. We are thrilled to see Prenetics playing an increasingly important role in the fight against the global pandemic and we are excited to have played a small role in this fight.”
Ho led the project, with assistance from associates Eva Ying and Joey Liu.
The London team was led by corporate partner Richard Dollimore, with assistance from associates Victoria Cormack, Emma Cooper, and trainee solicitor Kira Green. Tax partner Giles Bavister and regulatory partner Jennifer Marsh advised on the U.K. tax and regulatory aspects of the acquisition, respectively.
The Hong Kong team also advised on Prenetics’ most recent fundraising led by Apis Partners, a U.K. based private equity fund.