Gene editor Horizon eyes further takeovers after snapping up GE's biotech arm

DNA Credit:  Firstsignal

World leading gene editing specialist Horizon Discovery is on the lookout for further acquisitions after completing the takeover of US giant General Electric’s biotech arm for $85m (£65m).

The swoop for Dharmacon, funded by an £80m share placing, is the British firm’s fourth acquisition to date.

Today the backers behind Horizon’s latest fundraising have been revealed to include a clutch of America’s largest healthcare funds, including Federated, Perceptive Advisors and Deerfield Partners, which together have $370bn of assets under management.

After the round, a quarter of Horizon’s stock is held by US investors, up from 10pc prior. High profile UK investors Neil Woodford and Invesco also took part, while GE took an 8.8pc stake.

Chris Claxton, investor relations ­director at Horizon, said the firm was open to new buying opportunities: “We see there might be more companies out there that are attractive.

“We have ambitions to be a large profitable company and we’re in a sweet spot in the market.”

Both businesses work in the fast-emerging field of gene manipulation, a market expected to be worth £1.6bn next year and to ultimately be worth as much as £40bn, according to analysts.

Mr Claxton said the deal with Dharmacon put the firm “very much at the forefront” of the gene market.