Health

Ginkgo plans a $17.5 billion merger with SPAC that took DraftKings public


Ginkgo Bioworks, one of the hottest biotech startups in Massachusetts, said Tuesday that it plans to go public through a merger with a so-called blank check company backed by Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky, the veteran media industry executives who helped take the Boston sports-betting company DraftKings public last year.

The deal values Ginkgo at $15 billion, making the merger one of the biggest of its kind. Ginkgo programs cells to produce new proteins, scents, antibiotics, cannabinoids, and other products for a growing array of industries. Launched in 2008 by five scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it now employs about 500 people, most of them in Boston’s Seaport.

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