Babylon announces multi-billion dollar merger and plan to become public company

Babylon, the global health tech company, has announced a new $4.2 billion merger with special purpose acquisition company, Alkuri Global Acquisition Corp.

Once completed, the combined company will operate under the name of Babylon and trade under ‘BBLN’ at the New York-based Nasdaq Stock Market – seeing Babylon transition from private to publicly traded entity.

The London-based medical company, which was founded in 2013 and describes itself as ‘digital-first’ and ‘value-based’, is expected to close this transaction in the latter half of 2021, subject to approval from Alkuri stockholders.

Babylon Founder and CEO Dr Ali Parsa will become Chairman and CEO of the combined company, while a representative from Alkuri will also join the Babylon Board of Directors.

Dr Ali Parsa, said of the news: “We founded Babylon on a fundamental belief, that it is possible to make quality healthcare accessible and affordable for every person on earth by combining the latest in technology and the best in medical expertise. 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.”

Rich Williams, Alkuri Global CEO, added: “Babylon’s patient-first approach — coupled with its focus on accessibility and affordability — has made it one of the most exciting growth stories in health and technology.

“When we founded Alkuri, we set out to identify high-potential, disruptive companies with visionary founders and strong teams. Babylon is all of those things, and we’re excited to work with them on their truly world-changing mission.”

It’s expected the merger will lead to $575 million of gross proceeds. While, according to Babylon, the company also intends to take up its option to purchase the consumer health engagement company, Higi, by acquiring the remaining equity stake it doesn’t own.

The new development comes after a busy last 12-14 months for Babylon, which has included research into AI in primary care, the development of COVID-19 antibody tests and an app deal with Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust.