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Deal: Amgen Buys Biotech Startup Teneobio In $2.5B Deal

It appears that this Covid era has led to a boom for companies that work on  antibodies , which are protective proteins produced by the human immune system to tackle foreign substances, usually viruses. Antibodies are very useful in the research and treatment of viruses such as Covid. There are companies that specialize in antibodies and one of them, BioLegend , was recently bought for a whopping $5.3bn . Now, another such company, Teneobio , is getting bought for a big amount. Teneobio has agreed to be acquired by Amgen , an American biotech giant. Amgen is paying $900mn upfront for the company, then an additional $1.6bn in cash contingent on the company hitting certain milestones. It sums up to a $2.5bn deal . Teneobio is a clinical-stage biotech startup working on antibodies aimed at treating cancer, autoimmunity, and other infectious diseases. As it's still in the clinical trial stage with no viable product yet, it appears that Amgen is betting big on Teneobio's trials b

Deal: PerkinElmer Buys Antibody Maker BioLegend For $5.3B

PerkinElmer , a publicly-traded medical devices and diagnostics company, had made its biggest acquisition yet. It's  agreed to buy   BioLegend , a privately-held company that makes antibodies and reagents for biomedical research. PerkinElmer will pay the sum of  $5.3bn  in cash and stock to buy BioLegend, marking the company's biggest acquisition in its existence. It's a major play that PerkinElmer is making, as it says BioLegend expects to have $380mn in sales in 2022, implying a multiple of about 14x to buy the company. BioLegend was founded in 2002 and has been based in the state of California for a long time. It has more than 700 employees, most of whom are based in the US. BioLegend shined during the Covid pandemic as the company provided antibodies and other tools used for biomedical research tackling the virus. Now, just about a year later, it's culminated in a big exit for the two-decade-old company. PerkinElmer has taken financing from Goldman Sachs to finance

IPO: An Ambitious Psychedelics Startup Debuts With Fanfare

An ambitious startup working on psychedelic drugs with hopes of treating mental health issues has made its way onto the public markets. That startup, ATAI Life Sciences , listed on the Nasdaq exchange   (ticker "ATAI")  on Friday, the 18th of June, and saw its share price close up nearly 30% that day. ATAI Life Sciences is the brainchild of a German billionaire entrepreneur,  Christian Angermayer , who made a fortune founding a biotech company and then investing in tech startups.  ATAI is in the ambitious territory, looking to develop psychedelic drugs to treat mental health conditions. It's a field still in its infancy and with many regulatory hurdles to cross. As it's structured, ATAI is a holding company for various psychedelic startups pursuing treatments for mental illnesses. When it was privately held, it raised over $360mn of venture funding and used it to buy several startups to house under its umbrella.  Now with its IPO, ATAI raised $225mn more to continue

Biotech: Covid Vaccine Maker BioNTech Tackles Cancer

In biotech news today, the maker of a successful Covid vaccine based on mRNA technology is hoping to replicate that success for cancer, yes cancer. That vaccine maker is BioNTech , the German company that made the Covid vaccine mass-produced by strategic partner Pfizer. BioNTech has begun Phase 2 trials of a cancer vaccine it's made named BNT111 . The first out of 120 trial subjects has been dosed with the vaccine to see if it'll work.  At that, it seems that BioNTech is very ambitious such that shortly after making a Covid vaccine it's hoping to replicate that success with a cancer vaccine. For reference, there are currently only two vaccines approved by the US FDA to tackle certain types of cancer. BNT111  is a vaccine candidate targeting  Advanced Melanoma  in humans. Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that begins in the cells that control the pigment of the human skin.  For the trial, BioNTech has gotten approval to enroll 120 patients across the EU, UK, US, and Austral

Covid-19: Novavax Says Vaccine 90% Effective

An American biotech firm working on a vaccine for Covid-19 has announced very positive results from its trials. That firm is Novavax , a reputed vaccine maker that began working on a Covid vaccine late last year. Novavax said its vaccine demonstrated 90.4% efficacy against Covid-19 from a sample of nearly 30k participants in the US and Mexico. At that, it plans to file for authorization with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this year. Novavax seems late to the game after successful Covid vaccines for the US have already been developed by Pfizer and Moderna. It's yet to receive authorization at a time when hundreds of millions of Pfizer and Moderna doses have already been sold in the US and abroad. Unlike Moderna and Pfizer, Novavax's Covid vaccine is protein-based rather than the mRNA technology the two companies decided to work with. The use of proteins is a long-established way of making vaccines compared to the mRNA which is new to mass production. There ap

Alert: FDA Approves New Alzheimer's Drug From Biogen

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a landmark approval for a new drug to treat Alzheimer's , a neurologic disorder that affects millions worldwide. It's the first medication cleared by US regulators to treat the ailment in two decades. The drug granted clearance is  Aduhelm made by Cambridge-based Biogen. It's a branded name for  Aducanumab , a medication that works by removing sticky deposits of a protein called amyloid beta found in the brains of early Alzheimer's patients, with the hopes of reducing the ailment's buildup. As a note, Aduhelm is not a cure for Alzheimer's, but a way to attack what is believed to be an underlying cause in the disease in its early stages. It can't be used to tackle Alzheimer's that has already progressed to later stages. Aduhelm will cost $56k per year to patients.  The FDA clearance for Aduhelm came despite objections from many in the scientific and medical community, where there has been a fierce

SPAC: Biotech Startup Ginkgo Bioworks To Go Public In $15B Deal

A biotech startup based in Boston is going public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in one of the biggest such deals. That startup is Ginkgo Bioworks , which has agreed to merge with a SPAC in a deal valuing it at $15bn. Details: Ginkgo Bioworks has agreed to merge with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: SRNG). The terms of the merger value Ginkgo at $15bn on a pre-money basis. With the merger, Gingko will go public with $2.5bn in cash proceeds, consisting of $1.7bn from  Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. and a $775mn PIPE round committed by investors such as Cathie Wood's  Ark Invest and Counterpoint Global, an offshoot of Morgan Stanley. With a $15bn valuation, Ginkgo is one of the biggest SPAC deals to come out of the recent boom of SPAC mergers. It'll see Ginkgo go public 13 years after its founding and roughly $800mn in venture funding raised over that period. Highlights: Ginkgo was founded in 2008 by scientists from MIT.

Earnings: Covid Vaccines Deliver Big Sales, Profit For Moderna

Moderna was among the few biotech companies that saved the day with the development of an emergency-authorized vaccine to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a breakthrough for the company, which was before then a cancer-fighting moonshot with minimal revenues and no working product. Being a publicly-traded company, Moderna is mandated to release quarterly earnings reports to the public and it has done so this time around, releasing its financial results for the first quarter of this year 2021. Moderna's latest earnings report shows that of a company that saw big success from its Covid vaccines, as it reported record revenue and its first-ever net profit as a public company. By the numbers: Moderna made $1.9bn in revenue in Q1' 21, compared to a paltry $8mn for the same quarter in 2020. The revenue came wholly from Covid vaccine sales in the US and foreign markets. Moderna reported a huge net income of $1.2bn in the quarter, compared to a net loss of $124mn for the same perio

Earnings: Pfizer Rakes In Cash From COVID Vaccine

Pfizer, one of the few pharmaceutical companies worldwide to produce an approved Covid-19 vaccine, has unveiled its earnings report for the first quarter of this year. As usual, the report provides a solid peek into the company's financials and with very noteworthy nuggets this time around. One key nugget from Pfizer's earnings report is that the company brought in $3.5bn in revenue from its Covid-19 vaccine in Q1' 21. It made up nearly a fourth of the company's total $14.6bn revenue for the period. The Covid vaccine was the biggest single source of revenue for Pfizer in the quarter. It's definitely a good time for the company in that regard, as it elected to keep the profit from the sale of its vaccines unlike some of its competitors which volunteered to waive off any profit-seeking from their vaccines. Unlike some of its competitors also, Pfizer didn't take money from the US government to fund the development of its vaccine under the Trump administration'

SoftBank Makes Big Biotech Bet On UK Startup Exscientia

Once again, Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank has proven that it's a fan of the biotech industry with a major investment in the sector, and the latest testament to its likeliness of the sector is Exscientia, a UK startup using AI to accelerate drug discovery that has just completed a $225 million Series D round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. SoftBank led Exscientia's Series D round and was joined by a host of other big-name participants including BlackRock, Mubadala, Farallon Capital, and American pharmaceuticals giant Bristol-Myers Squibb.  SoftBank didn't just stop at leading Exscientia's round but committed an additional $300 million in equity funding that could be drawn at the company's discretion. This signals having a lot of confidence in the company. Exscientia is part of a crop of companies that have emerged in recent years to put to use the rapid development and improvement of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in the drug developm

Psychedelic Drugs Startup ATAI Life Sciences Files For IPO

A German startup that's betting heavily on psychedelic drugs having mainstream medical use soon has filed for an initial public offering in the US. That startup is ATAI Life Sciences, one founded by serial German entrepreneur Christian Angermayer. Backed by nearly $400 million in private funding, ATAI Life Sciences has used its large cash balance to buy up psychedelic drug candidates still in the pipeline. It even recently bought an ambitious startup that wants to use brain-computer interfaces to help treat mental health conditions. ATAI Life Sciences has submitted an S-1 filing for an IPO to the US SEC. It listed a placeholder size offering of $100 million, although that's an amount often used to estimate listing fees and is subject to change at any time. On its end, ATAI is promising investors an opportunity to buy in early into a startup at the forefront of applying psychedelic and hallucinogenic drugs to potentially treat mental disorders. Whether investors buy into that

IPO: Drug Discovery Firm Recursion Pharma Debuts On Markets

Recursion Pharmaceuticals, a company using machine learning to hunt for new drugs and therapies for ailments, has raised $436 million from an initial public offering (IPO) and begun trading on the public markets. It sold roughly 24.2 million shares for $18 each to raise that amount. Recursion Pharma filed for an IPO last month in March. Debuting at $18 per share on the markets, it closed trading on Friday up more than 70% at $31.34, giving it a market value of over $5 billion. A seven-year-old company, Recursion is part of a group of companies that emerged in the past few years to harness the rapid development and improvement in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in recent years and apply them to drug discovery. Recursion uses AI and machine learning to help discover new drugs. Its customers are primarily pharmaceutical companies such as Bayer, which has a collaborative agreement with it to seek new drugs for fibrotic diseases. Bayer bought a $50 million stake i

SoftBank Makes Big Biotech Bet On Genetic Testing Firm Invitae

Japanese investor SoftBank has made a big bet in the biotech world, this time on a publicly-traded genetic testing company named Invitae (NYSE: NVTA). SB Management, a SoftBank subsidiary, led a $1.2 billion convertible bond investment for Invitae that gives the company ample cash to further its growth initiatives. SB Management is SoftBank's asset management group that owns billions of dollars in global stocks. It's separate from SoftBank's famed $100 billion Vision Fund that also makes big bets on global companies. By leading a $1.2B investment in Invitae, SoftBank has added the company to its list of major biotech public holdings which also include Canadian antibody developer AbCellera, 4D Molecular Therapeutics Inc, and DNA-sequencing company Pacific Biosciences of California Inc. Invitae is a genetic testing company offering test services for diseases in a range of areas, including neurology, pediatric genetics, and reproductive health. The company's appeal lies in

FTC Opposes Illumina's $8B Purchase Of Cancer Detection Startup Grail

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sued to block the $8 billion purchase of cancer detection startup Grail  by Illumina, a publicly-traded genetic sequencing company.  Illumina has sought to acquire Grail, which's working on blood-based cancer detection tests, for $3.5 billion in cash and $4.5 billion in stock net of the 12% stake it already owns as an investor in Grail. To note, Grail was itself spun out of Illumina. With a legal case in the brews, the FTC argues that Illumina's planned purchase of Grail will "diminish innovation in the U.S. market" for multi-cancer early detection (MCED) tests, given that the blood-based early cancer detection test that Grail is developing depends on a type of DNA sequencing that only Illumina provides. On its end, the FTC is challenging Illumina's planned Grail purchase as one that'll give it an unfair edge in the MCED test market and has thus sued to block the purchase. A trial for the case will begin on Aug. 24, 2

Latest SPAC Deal: Genetic Testing Company 23andMe

The genetic testing company 23andMe is the latest company to join the boom of becoming publicly-traded by merging with special-purpose acquisition companies. Barely a month after it closed an $83 million funding round , 23andMe has announced a deal to merge with VG Acquisition Corp, a SPAC formed by the famed entrepreneur Richard Branson. 23andMe will merge with VG Acquisition Corp in a deal valued at $3.5 billion. As part of the merger, 23andMe will receive $509 million held in trust by VG Acquisition plus a top-up $250 million cash infusion that'll come from investors including Fidelity, Altimeter Capital, and Foresite Capital. Branson and 23andMe's CEO, Anne Wojcicki who's the ex-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, will reach chip in $25 million into the $250 million round. At close, the combined company of VG Acquisition and 23andMe will have a cash balance exceeding $900 million. After the merger, 23andMe will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the t

Genetic Medicine Startup Tessera Nabs $230M Round

Tessera Therapeutics, a biotech startup working on the development of new genetic medicines and treatments, has raised $230 million in a Series B round co-led by the SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, and Altitude Life Science Ventures, with participation from other investors including the Qatar Investment Authority. Tessera is notably a spin-off of Flagship Pioneering, the same life sciences developer that spun off Moderna, a company that has made its mark by developing a successful Covid-19 vaccine .  Tessera formally spun off from Flagship Pioneering in July 2020 and now a few months later has closed $230 million in Series B funding. The company is pioneering a concept that it terms "Gene Writing", referring to the ability to write therapeutic instructions into the genome to treat diseases at their source. Tessera is aiming to develop treatments and ailments for diseases by targeting them at their very source, the genomes. It's an ambitious vent

Moderna Kicks Off New Vaccine Programs

After successfully producing a Covid-19 vaccine with a high efficacy rate,  Moderna has announced that it's kicked off new vaccine programs for three diseases: seasonal Flu, Nipah Virus, and the HIV virus.  The three new vaccine programs will be based on the relatively newer Messenger RNA (mRNA) system, which Moderna successfully harnessed to develop its Covid-19 vaccine.  In basic terms, mRNA is the molecule that essentially puts DNA instructions into action. Unline traditional vaccines that work by training the body to recognize and respond to the proteins produced by disease-causing organisms, mRNA vaccines work by tricking the body into producing some of the viral proteins itself, the proteins being solitary and not able to assemble to form a virus. The immune system then detects these viral proteins and begin to produce a defensive response to them. With a successful application on the coronavirus disease, Moderna is apparently looking to replicate that success on the season

Bill Gates-Backed British Biotech Kymab Sells For $1.5B

The French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi has reached a definitive agreement to buy Kymab, a British immunotherapy firm, in a $1.45 billion deal split into an upfront payment of $1.1 billion and then $350 million in top-up payments contingent on meeting certain milestones. Kymab is a firm backed by investors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, ORI Capital, and Hepalink.  The company has raised roughly $230 million in venture funding. Sanofi's acquisition marks a sweet deal for Kymab, which was looking at a public listing in the US before now getting bought out. With Kymab under its belt, Sanofi will get full global rights to KY1005, a monoclonal antibody developed by Kymab with the potential to treat varieties of immune-mediated diseases and inflammatory disorders. Along with KY1005, Kymab also has another monoclonal antibody treatment in its pipeline; KY1044, which is currently in early Phase 1/2 development. To that, the acquisition benefits Sanofi w

Moderna Ups Vaccine Production Target

The American biotech company Moderna has increased the production target for its Covid-19 vaccine for this year, now seeking to produce 600 million doses this year compared to a previously stated 500 million doses.  Out of the targeted 600 million, 100 million doses are targeted to be available in the US by the end of the first quarter of this year and 200 million by the end of the second quarter. Already, 18 million doses have been supplied to the US government. Moderna received Emergency Use Authorization from the US last year December and began supplying to the government. Shortly after, it received approval from neighboring Canada and has also began supplying vaccines there. Moderna has partnered with a clique of pharmaceutical firms for the mass production and distribution of its Covid vaccines. It's secured big supply deals with a handful of countries, including 200 million doses ordered by the US, 40 million by Canada, and 7 million by the UK. Moderna is a forerunner in the

UK Approves Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine

The UK government has issued emergency use authorization for the Covid-19 vaccine jointly developed by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and researchers from Oxford University, two institutions notably based right there in the UK. The approval was announced by AstraZeneca on Wednesday. The approval for AstraZeneca's vaccine makes it the third pharmaceutical company to gain authorization from the UK government to distribute Covid-19 vaccines, after the American companies Pfizer and Moderna. With AstraZeneca and Oxford University both based in the UK, the country will likely benefit more from their Covid-19 vaccine thanks to proximity, wherein AstraZeneca has committed to supply up to 100 million doses in the country.  AstraZeneca conducted trials for its vaccine and posted an efficacy rate of 70% from its trials last month. The company has now been authorized to distribute vaccines to be administered on individuals 18 years or older, with a recommended two-shot dosage to be a

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Alert: Nikola Founder Trevor Milton Indicted On Fraud Charges

The founder of embattled electric car startup Nikola Corp. has been formally indicted on fraud charges by the US Justice Department months after resigning from the company. Trevor Milton by name, he's been accused of securities and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud and mislead investors. Milton is accused of misleading investors by making false statements regarding Nikola's products and capabilities. Notably, most of the investors allegedly misled were on the retail side. The DOJ alleges that Milton made false claims regarding "nearly all aspects" of Nikola's business. Milton founded Nikola in 2014 and led it through a public listing via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) last year. The DOJ threw an apparent jab at SPACs in his indictment, asserting that he made 'many' of his false and misleading claims  during a period where he would not have been allowed to do so under rules that govern traditional IPOs were he

Earnings: AMD Doubles Revenue, Triples Profit

In this earnings season, companies all over are dropping their latest quarterly results and we're here equally reporting on them. We've touched on social media companies Snap Inc and Twitter , electric carmaker Tesla , and iPhone maker Apple . Now, the next is chipmaker AMD Inc . AMD has dropped its earnings for the second quarter of 2021, showing strong prospects as revenue doubled year-over-year and net income more than tripled.   Details AMD posted $3.9bn in revenue in Q2, up 99% year-over-year and 12% from the preceding quarter. For the same period, the company's net income was $710mn , up 352% year-over-year and 28% from the preceding quarter. Doubling its revenue and nearly quadrupling net income indicates AMD has a strong yet fast-growing business. It's bound to grow even more as the company is set to complete its acquisition of rival chipmaker Xilinx . AMD makes money selling high-performance chipsets used in computers, consoles, data centers, and the likes

Antitrust: Amazon Fined $900M By EU For Privacy Violations

Tech behemoth Amazon is for the nth time in the crosshairs of the European Union (EU). The latest saga in that arena is that Amazon has been fined a record-breaking amount for alleged privacy violations, according to an SEC filing from the company. Amazon has been fined the sum of €746 million ($888mn) by the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) for not complying with data privacy laws. It's the largest fine imposed under Europe's data protection law.  The fine originates from the CNPD accusing Amazon of processing customers' personal data in violation of the EU's famous-cum-infamous General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws.  In June, it was reported ( WSJ )  that the Luxembourg data protection agency had sanctioned Amazon's privacy practices and proposed a fine topping $425mn to the EU's other two-dozen or so national data protection authorities. Now, it appears that the final fine is much larger than that.  Before now, the bigges

Deal: Qualtrics Buys CX Startup Clarabridge For $1.1B

Months after getting spun out of SAP into a separate public company, Qualtrics , a major provider of online survey software, has made a major acquisition. It's agreed to buy Clarabridge , a startup that does similar work to Qualtrics in the field fondly referred to as "customer experience (CX)". Qualtrics will pay $1.1bn all with shares to buy Clarabridge. The acquisition is a major strategic play for the company, pairing Qualtrics' customer survey business with Clarabridge's similar business of measuring customer sentiment from various sources like social media posts and customer support calls. Basically, Qualtrics is in the business of weighing customer surveys directly and Clarabridge in the business of doing so indirectly . Pairing both businesses represents a major strategic play for Qualtrics. In an investor presentation, Qualtrics said that Clarabridge has $100mn in annual revenue, implying an 11x multiple that it's paying to buy the company. That&#

Deal: Amgen Buys Biotech Startup Teneobio In $2.5B Deal

It appears that this Covid era has led to a boom for companies that work on  antibodies , which are protective proteins produced by the human immune system to tackle foreign substances, usually viruses. Antibodies are very useful in the research and treatment of viruses such as Covid. There are companies that specialize in antibodies and one of them, BioLegend , was recently bought for a whopping $5.3bn . Now, another such company, Teneobio , is getting bought for a big amount. Teneobio has agreed to be acquired by Amgen , an American biotech giant. Amgen is paying $900mn upfront for the company, then an additional $1.6bn in cash contingent on the company hitting certain milestones. It sums up to a $2.5bn deal . Teneobio is a clinical-stage biotech startup working on antibodies aimed at treating cancer, autoimmunity, and other infectious diseases. As it's still in the clinical trial stage with no viable product yet, it appears that Amgen is betting big on Teneobio's trials b

Antitrust: UK Probes Facebook's $1B Kustomer Acquisition

The UK's antitrust agency has launched a probe into Facebook's latest acquisition, that of chatbot platform Kustomer Inc , which Facebook agreed to buy last November for a reported $1bn. The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Friday, the 30th of July, released a statement  indicating it had opened an inquiry into Facebook's purchase of Kustomer, regarding if it'll result in "a substantial lessening of competition" within the market Kustomer operates in. Such probes aren't out of the norm and are routine for big acquisitions. For Facebook, it speaks to the fact that antitrust agencies are watching the company's moves, especially regarding acquisitions. To note, two of Facebook Inc's biggest products outside the main Facebook platform, Instagram and WhatsApp , were acquisitions. In fact, it's primarily acquisitions that have propelled the company's growth. As with such probes, the UK will first seek comments from the public

Hollywood: Reese Witherspoon's Media Co. Sold In $900M Deal

A media company founded by superstar actress Reese Witherspoon has sold for a large amount to a company still in its infancy that hasn't even been named yet. That company is Hello Sunshine , a media company that produces content distributed across various platforms; movies, TV shows, podcasts, et al. Hello Sunshine has been sold to a newly-formed media venture t hat's backed by investment capital from Blackstone , the private equity giant.  The venture is led by ex Disney honchos Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs .  As it is, the Blackstone-funded venture is acquiring a majority stake in Hello Sunshine from a group of external investors while anchor shareholders like Witherspoon and her founding partners will roll over and retain their equity stakes in the newly-formed venture. Officially, the deal's financial terms weren't disclosed, but a report from The Wall Street Journal says it's a $900mn deal. According to the report, the Blackstone-funded venture will pay $500mn

Earnings: Shopify Beats Estimates, Reaches Major Milestone

In this season of earnings results and we at The Techee  reporting on them, we're here with a beat on Shopify , which has released its earnings statement for the second quarter (April-June) of this year. In Q2, Shopify beat revenue expectations from analysts and as well achieved a major financial milestone by crossing $1bn in quarterly revenue for the first time. Shopify had $1.1bn in revenue in the quarter, up 57% year-over-year. Net income for the same period was $897mn , most of which was due to a $778mn gain in equity investments, likely from Shopify's stake in Affirm , a major 'buy now, pay later' lender. As usual, most of Shopify's sales ( $785mn ) came from "Merchant Solutions", which groups additional services the company offers atop recurring subscriptions charged to online retailers. Sales from subscriptions came at $334mn in the quarter. Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV), representing the total worth of transactions made on the Shopify platform,

Alert: Square Buys Australia's Afterpay For $29B

It's a big day in the fintech world. There's been a major acquisition with a major American fintech company, Square , buying Australia's foremost fintech startup, Afterpay , a 'buy now, pay later' lender. Square has reached an agreement to buy Afterpay for a whopping $29bn , marking one of Australia's biggest buyouts. It's a big deal that a startup founded barely seven years ago is selling for $29bn.  Square will pay the $29bn all with shares. It means that shares of Afterpay, which are traded on the Australian Securities Exchange, will be exchanged for Square stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Afterpay is Australia's foremost 'buy now, pay later (BNPL)' lender in online retail. For the uninitiated, the 'buy now, pay later' business is a relatively young one providing alternatives to credit cards for consumers to shop online. It provides loans for consumers to shop online and then pay back in installments. Usually, credi

Markets: US SEC Takes Aim At Chinese IPOs

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken a swipe at Chinese initial public offerings (IPOs) after regulatory hiccups in China have affected many Chinese stocks listed on US markets and American stockholders holding them. The SEC has issued new guidance on Chinese companies seeking to list shares in the US, requiring them to make certain disclosures to investors or otherwise refrain from listing in the US markets. First of all, usually, Chinese companies listing in the US don't actually sell shares of the operating companies but that of shell companies with contractual relationships with the operating companies. These shell shares, known as American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) , are used to circumvent restrictions on foreign ownership of Chinese shares imposed by the country's government. Now, the SEC in a statement has made it clear that Chinese companies seeking to list in the US must provide clear descriptions of the shell operations involved in such listing