Ginkgo BioWorks has signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition of biotechnology company Zymergen in an all-stock deal worth nearly $300m. 

According to the agreement, 5.25% of the pro forma merged business will be owned by the stockholders of Zymergen following the acquisition.

The deal to combine two complementary companies with identical visions is anticipated to expedite the development of the innovative horizontal synthetic biology platform of Ginkgo.

With the acquisition, Ginkgo intends to incorporate key automation and software technologies of Zymergen to mount strain engineering capability into its Foundry. 

This comprises machine learning and data science tools of Zymergen to study known and unknown genetic design spaces. 

Furthermore, the extension of the biological assets (Codebase) library of Ginkgo following the takeover of Zymergen will be beneficial to the customers of the former. 

This deal is expected to substantially boost Ginkgo’s platform by merging robust automation and software expertise, as well as knowledge across various diverse biological engineering methods. 

Through the takeover, the company will support plans of Zymergen to assess strategic options for their Advanced Materials and Drug Discovery businesses. 

In addition, Zymergen will progress its cost restructuring measures, including headcount reductions and programme optimisation. 

The transaction received unanimous approvals from the boards of directors of Ginkgo and Zymergen.

Subject to necessary closing conditions and approvals, the deal is anticipated to conclude in the first quarter of next year.

Zymergen chairman and acting CEO Jay Flatley said: “At Zymergen, our team has built a world-class and innovative technology platform which will complement Ginkgo’s cell programming capabilities. 

“We’re excited about the opportunities created by combining our technologies to accelerate Ginkgo’s platform development to better serve customers, promote Zymergen’s public benefit purpose and achieve our shared vision of sustainability and a world built on biology.”

In June 2019, Ginkgo and Synlogic signed a platform collaboration to support the latter’s synthetic bionic medicines pipeline.