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Pacific Biosciences Shares Rise 22% on $900 Million Investment from Japan's SoftBank

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Shares of Pacific Biosciences of California traded to a new 52-week high after the firm reported that a Softbank Group subsidiary will invest $900 million to support its growth initiatives.

Prior to the open of U.S. markets today, long-read genetic sequencing platform provider Pacific Biosciences of California Inc. (PACB:NASDAQ) announced that "SB Management, a subsidiary of Softbank Group Corp. (SFTBY:OTC-Pink ADR), will make an investment of $900 million in convertible senior notes to support the company’s future growth initiatives."

Pacific Biosciences' President and CEO Christian Henry commented, "This strategic investment by SoftBank validates our leadership position in the long-read DNA sequencing market and enables us to further accelerate our growth strategies...Currently, we offer one of the most accurate and complete sequencing solutions on the market and this financing will enable us to continue to expand our product portfolio and advance our commercial expansion as we seek to transform the field of genomics."

Akshay Naheta, CEO of SB Management, remarked, "We believe that PacBio's HiFi sequencing will be the de facto standard tool for population genomics fundamentally altering the practice of healthcare...Christian has assembled a world-class management team to commercialize market-leading sequencing technologies and to prepare population-scale healthcare systems for a future in precision medicine. We look forward to partnering with the Company in its efforts to build the most advanced genome sequencing platform in the world."

The company indicated that under the terms of the investment agreement, SB Management will purchase $900 million of Convertible Senior Notes with a maturity date of February 15, 2028. The convertible notes will bear an interest rate of 1.5% per annum and will have an initial conversion price of $43.50 per share of Pacific Biosciences common stock. Upon conversion, SB Management may receive settlement in cash, shares or any combination thereof at Pacific Biosciences' sole discretion.

Pacific Biosciences noted that it intends to file a Form 8-K today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which will include detailed information pertaining to this announcement.

In addition, the company advised that it will be releasing its Q4/20 and FY/20 financial results after U.S. markets close for trading today. The firm has scheduled a quarterly conference call to take place a 4:30 p.m. EST today to discuss the results which it indicated will be pretty much in-line with the preliminary data it pre-released on January 11, 2021. Those interested in joining may access the webcast on Pacific Biosciences' website.

Pacific Biosciences is a designer, developer and manufacturer of highly accurate long-read genetic sequencing systems based in Menlo Park, Calif. The firm explained that "its innovative instruments are based on Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing technology, which delivers a comprehensive view of genomes, transcriptomes, and epigenomes, enabling access to the full spectrum of genetic variation in any organism." The company noted that its PacBio® sequencing systems are used worldwide by scientists in the fields of animal sciences, microbiology and human biomedical research.

Pacific Biosciences began the day with a market cap of around $7.4 billion with approximately 186 million shares outstanding and a short interest of about 7.0%. PACB shares opened more than 22% higher today at $48.50 (+$8.96, +22.66%) over yesterday's $39.54 closing price and reached a new 52-week high price this morning of $51.88. The stock has traded today between $45.3911 and $51.88 per share and is currently trading at $48.24 (+$8.70, +22.00%).


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