A low-cost portable ultrasound company is hitting the public market with a SPAC deal announced Friday.
The SPAC Deal: Butterfly Network, a handheld portable ultrasound company, is merging with Longview Acquisition Corp LGVW. The deal values Butterfly Network at $1.5 billion.
Longview Acquisition Corp is led by Larry Robbins, the hedge fund manager of Glenview Capital Management.
The press release said the deal is expected to “accelerate future pipeline of innovative technologies” for Butterfly Network, which is something investors should watch.
The deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2021. Shares will trade on the NYSE as BFLY. Longview SPAC shareholders will own 20% of the new company.
Butterfly Network Investors: Butterfly Network comes with a strong backing of investors.
The company counts Baillie Gifford, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Fosun Industrial as the largest investors. Fidelity is also listed as a backer of the company.
Butterfly Network founder Dr. John Rothberg will be the largest shareholder of the new company. Rothberg received the Presidential Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2016 for inventing a novel next-gen DNA sequencing method.
The company has raised over $400 million prior to the SPAC merger deal announcement.
About Butterfly Network: Putting ultrasound on a chip and creating more access to underserved areas of the world was the goal of Butterfly Network.
The company has the Butterfly iQ, which is the only ultrasound transducer that can perform whole-body imaging with a single handheld probe using semiconductor technology.
The Butterfly iQ+ was launched in October with a price of $1,999 plus membership.
The ultrasound market is dominated by traditional cart-based devices, which Butterfly Network wants to change. Their portable products have sold over 30,000 units since launch. The ultrasound market is currently dominated by large companies like General Electric GE and Koninklijke Philips PHG.
Butterfly Network has agreements in place with the majority of the largest 100 hospitals in the United States and has a working relationship with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company TSM.
Benzinga’s Take: Investors should note the recent IPO of Nano-X Imaging NNOX, another ultrasound company. Nano-X is seeking to provide smaller and lower cost x-ray models to hospitals and emerging countries.
Nano-X priced an upsized IPO at $18 and its shares traded between $20.26 and $66.67 since going public. Bear reports from Citron and Muddy Waters pushed shares down, but investors should see that the appetite for a new disruptive medical imaging company was there.
Price Action: Shares of Longview Acquisition are up 6% to $10.46 on Friday. Shares hit new all-time highs of $10.70 earlier in the morning.
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