Why Ginkgo Bioworks (DNA) Is Buying Zymergen For $300 Million

By Amit Chowdhry ● Jul 25, 2022
  • Ginkgo Bioworks (DNA) announced it entered into a definitive agreement under which Ginkgo will acquire Zymergen. These are the details.

Ginkgo Bioworks (DNA) — the leading horizontal platform for cell programming and the biotechnology company Zymergen (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. And 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 deal brings together two highly complementary organizations that share the vision that biology can transform a wide range of industries including manufacturing, agriculture, and medicine. And 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 spaces. Ginkgo customers will also benefit from the expansion of Ginkgo’s library of biological assets (Codebase) following the deal.

The agreement announced 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. And 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.

Plus 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 the integration is completed.

KEY QUOTES:

“We have always had incredible respect for the Zymergen team and the strength of the technologies that they have built for cell programming. 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.”

— Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks

“At Zymergen, our team has built a world class and innovative technology platform which will complement Ginkgo’s cell programming capabilities. We’re excited about the opportunities created by combining our technologies to accelerate Ginkgo’s platform development to better serve customers, promote Zymergen’s public benefit purpose, and achieve our shared vision of sustainability and a world built on biology. The transaction also represents a compelling opportunity for our stockholders to participate in the future growth and upside potential of the combined company.”

— Jay Flatley, Chairman and Acting CEO of Zymergen