Today, Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA) — the leading horizontal platform for cell programming — and the biotechnology company Zymergen (Nasdaq: ZY) announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Ginkgo will acquire Zymergen in an all-stock transaction that values Zymergen at an approximately $300 million market capitalization. Under the terms of the agreement, which have been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, Zymergen stockholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 0.9179 Ginkgo shares for each Zymergen share, representing 5.25% pro forma ownership of Ginkgo following the transaction.
This transaction brings together two highly complementary organizations that share the vision that biology can transform a wide range of industries including manufacturing, agriculture, and medicine. Ginkgo plans to integrate Zymergen’s core automation and software technologies for scaling strain engineering capacity into its Foundry, including Zymergen’s machine learning and data science tools for exploring known and unknown genetic design space. Ginkgo customers will also benefit from the expansion of Ginkgo’s library of biological assets (“Codebase”) following the transaction.
The agreement announced today represents Ginkgo’s largest acquisition to date and is expected to significantly enhance Ginkgo’s platform by integrating strong automation and software capabilities as well as a wealth of experience across diverse biological engineering approaches. Ginkgo is a horizontal platform, serving customers across industries rather than producing its own products, and will support Zymergen’s plans to evaluate strategic alternatives for their Advanced Materials and Drug Discovery businesses, which have established valuable product pipelines and rapid prototyping capabilities. Additionally, Zymergen will continue its standalone cost restructuring initiatives, including headcount reductions and program rationalization. Finally, the addition of Zymergen personnel is expected to help fill planned hiring by Ginkgo as it scales the platform. Taken together, Ginkgo expects these actions to minimize incremental run-rate operating expenses in connection with the combination once integration is completed.
“We have always had incredible respect for the Zymergen team and the strength of the technologies that they have built for cell programming,” said Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks. “We are thrilled to integrate Zymergen’s capabilities into our Foundry, which we expect to accelerate the growth of our platform as we continue to deliver on our mission to make biology easier to engineer for our customers, helping us drive down the costs of cell programming as we invest in scale. We can’t wait to welcome Zymergen’s technical teams, who will support our scaling objectives.”