Prenetics SPAC Is Now Trading On Nasdaq

By Chong Seow Wei

Ahead of the listing, Prenetics co-founder Danny Yeung shares with Gen.T what led to this day, how Tatler played a key role in it and what he plans to do right after his company gets listed

Tatler Asia
Photo: Getty Images
Cover  Photo: Getty Images

The merged company of Prenetics, a leader in genomic and diagnostic testing, and Artisan Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) led by Hong Kong business tycoon Adrian Cheng, has officially begun trading on Nasdaq. 

Prenetics’ shares went live under the ticker symbol “PRE” on May 18, Wednesday, at 9.30pm Hong Kong time—one week after Artisan Acquisition announced that its shareholders had overwhelmingly approved the two companies’ business combination. 

Ahead of the listing, we reached out to Danny Yeung, the co-founder of Prenetics, Hong Kong’s first unicorn company to be publicly traded, to find out what led to this day, how Tatler played a key role in it and what he plans to do right after his company gets listed. Here’s what he had to say.

Read more: Prenetics SPAC To List On Nasdaq On May 18

Tatler Asia
Prenetics co-founder Danny Yeung (left) with Adrian Cheng, founder of Artisan Acquisition and CEO and executive vice-chairman of the Hong Kong-listed New World Development
Above  Prenetics co-founder Danny Yeung (left) with Adrian Cheng, founder of Artisan Acquisition and CEO and executive vice-chairman of the Hong Kong-listed New World Development

What made you decide that it’s the right time to list? And why through a SPAC?

Danny Yeung (DY): Given our strong business momentum in 2021, where we exceeded our forecast of US$205 million in revenues and were able to achieve US$275 million in revenues and US$41 million in adjusted EBITDA, we felt it was the perfect time for us to take Prenetics to the global stage. We now have over US$260 million from the listing, cash and trade receivables, which puts us in a very favourable position as we launch new products, expand into new geographies and look to acquire companies that are synergistic with our business. 

In terms of choosing to list through a SPAC or traditional IPO, to be honest, we could have chosen either route but went with a SPAC because of Adrian Cheng and Artisan Acquisition. Adrian is a true visionary; an alchemist who doesn't invest in just businesses, but also in people and possibilities. He saw the potential of Prenetics and what we were building. And with what he and his network of companies can provide, it made the perfect business combination. 

I’d also like to give a special thank you to Michel Lamunière, [chairman and CEO of Tatler Asia Group] who introduced me to Adrian. If you are reading this, Michel, you get a lifetime supply of Covid tests.

How do you feel watching your startup grow to become a listed company? 

DY: It’s a dream come true. When I was 18, I used to watch CNBC every morning at 6.30am, as I was a day trader at the time. I always felt in awe and had so much admiration and respect for the CEOs who were able to ring the opening bell on the Nasdaq. 

To be Hong Kong's first unicorn to list on the Nasdaq and the first Hong Kong company to ring the opening bell makes it so much more special, not just for Prenetics but for the home we love that is Hong Kong. 

We have a significant opportunity to disrupt healthcare and make it more accessible to millions of people around the world—and we are only just getting started. 

Read more: Prenetics Co-Founder Danny Yeung On The Less Glamorous Side Of Entrepreneurship

What is your immediate goal after the listing?

DY: Catch up on sleep! The last six months seem to have gone by in a blink of an eye; it’s been so crazy. The process has been gruelling, but I can't be more excited for what is in store. 

After I get a few days of [proper] sleep, it's hyper-growth mode for us. We have new product launches coming up, such as ColoClear, a non-invasive stool DNA test to detect colon cancer, and Circle Snapshot, an at-home blood test that is easy and accurate. We are also in acquisition talks with multiple companies in telehealth, men's and women's health, and specialist clinics. Lots to do! 

What’s one of the most important lessons you learned from preparing for this listing?

DY: You need to have luck on your side! Ironically, I don't believe in luck, but I do believe that you have to create your own luck. And if you want it bad enough, you will do whatever it takes to make it happen. This means surrounding yourself with the best team internally and externally, and not taking shortcuts as there are too many technical details you need to get right. 

I've been fortunate to have an amazing team and be able to work with the best banks, lawyers and accountants who made [the listing] work. So do your own due diligence and find people that have done this before. And I hope that our listing will inspire current and future generations of entrepreneurs to aim for the same. 

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