Ginkgo Bioworks’ $15 Billion Merger with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp.

Latham & Watkins LLP and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz represented Ginkgo Bioworks, while White & Case LLP advised Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. in the transaction. Ropes & Gray advised Baillie Gifford on the deal.

Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc. and Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: SRNG), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, have agreed to a business combination that will result in Ginkgo becoming a publicly traded company.

The transaction implies a pre-money equity valuation for Ginkgo of US$15 billion, and is expected to provide up to US$2.5 billion of gross cash proceeds. Gross proceeds include Soaring Eagle’s US$1.73 billion of cash in trust (subject to any redemptions by Soaring Eagle’s public shareholders) and US$775 million in proceeds from a PIPE transaction priced at US$10 per share of Class A common stock of Soaring Eagle to be funded immediately prior to the closing of the transaction.

Headquartered in Boston, Ginkgo Bioworks uses the most advanced technology on the planet—biology—to grow better products. The company’s cell programming platform is enabling the growth of biotechnology across diverse markets, from food to fragrance to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo is also actively supporting a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including community testing, epidemiological tracing, vaccine development and therapeutics discovery.

Latham & Watkins LLP represented Ginkgo Bioworks in the transaction. The mergers and acquisitions team was led by Washington, D.C. partner Paul Sheridan (Picture), Boston/New York partner Kristen Grannis, New York associate Kristin Rulison, Washington, D.C. associate Monica Hernandez and Boston associate Christopher Lloyd. The capital markets team was led by Washington, D.C. partners Rachel Sheridan and Shagufa Hossain, and Washington, D.C. associates Jessica Lennon, Gary DePalo, and Brooke Padgett. Boston partners Emily Taylor and John Chory, and Boston associates Belinda King and Tyler Mills, advised on general corporate and governance matters.

Advice was also provided on tax matters by Rene de Vera, with Washington, D.C. associate Eni Kassim; on benefits and compensation matters by Washington, D.C. partner David Della Rocca, with Washington, D.C. associates Marysia Mullen and Courtney Thomson; on regulatory matters by Chicago partner Laura Ferrell and Boston partner David Tolley, with Boston associate Nicholas Lessin; on FDA matters by Washington, D.C. partner Elizabeth Richards and Bay Area counsel Betty Pang, with Washington, D.C. associate Chad Jennings; on intellectual property matters by New York partner Alan Tamarelli and Boston partner Sarah Gagan, with Boston associates Deborah Hinck and Seth Appiah-Opoku; on data privacy matters by Bay Area counsel Heather Deixler; on environmental matters by Washington, D.C. partner James Barrett, with Washington, D.C. associate Sam Scott; on real estate matters by New York counsel Shira Bressler; on compliance matters by Washington, D.C. partner Erin Brown Jones and Les Carnegie, with Washington, D.C. associate Faiza Hasan and Elizabeth Annis; and on antitrust matters by Washington, D.C. counsel Peter Todaro and Joseph Simei.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz represented Ginkgo Bioworks with a team led by partner Raaj S. Narayan.

The White & Case team that advised Soaring on the transaction was led by partners Joel Rubinstein, Jonathan Rochwarger and James Hu, and included partners Howard Wettan and Andres Liivak, and associates Taryn Zucker, Hiroyuki Koda, Hailey Bair, Anthony Johnson, M.K. Kang, Elizabeth Mapelli, Cristen Callan, Elizabeth Goodwin, Suzanne Knijnenburg (all in New York) and Ajita Shukla in Washington, DC.

A Ropes & Gray team guided Baillie Gifford, a leading asset manager, in connection with a private placement in Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. The team was led by private equity partner Adam Leamon and mergers & acquisitions and capital markets partner Thomas Fraser (both of Boston), and included mergers & acquisitions associate Adam Natan (New York).

Involved fees earner: Elizabeth Annis – Latham & Watkins; Seth Appiah-Opoku – Latham & Watkins; James Barrett – Latham & Watkins; Shira Bressler – Latham & Watkins; Erin Brown Jones – Latham & Watkins; Les Carnegie – Latham & Watkins; John Chory – Latham & Watkins; Enrique Rene de Vera – Latham & Watkins; Heather Deixler – Latham & Watkins; David Della Rocca – Latham & Watkins; Gary DePalo – Latham & Watkins; Laura Ferrell – Latham & Watkins; Sarah Gagan – Latham & Watkins; Faiza Hasan – Latham & Watkins; Monica Hernandez – Latham & Watkins; Deborah Hinck – Latham & Watkins; Shagufa Hossain – Latham & Watkins; Chad Jennings – Latham & Watkins; Belinda King – Latham & Watkins; Jessica Lennon – Latham & Watkins; Nicholas Lessin – Latham & Watkins; Christopher Lloyd – Latham & Watkins; Tyler Mills – Latham & Watkins; Marysia Mullen – Latham & Watkins; Betty Pang – Latham & Watkins; Elizabeth Richards – Latham & Watkins; Kristin Rulison – Latham & Watkins; Sam Scott – Latham & Watkins; Rachel Sheridan – Latham & Watkins; Paul Sheridan Jr. – Latham & Watkins; Joseph Simei – Latham & Watkins; Kristen Grannis – Latham & Watkins; Alan Tamarelli Jr. – Latham & Watkins; Emily Taylor – Latham & Watkins; Courtney Thomson – Latham & Watkins; Peter Todaro – Latham & Watkins; David Tolley – Latham & Watkins; Thomas Fraser – Ropes & Gray; Adam Leamon – Ropes & Gray; Adam Natan – Ropes & Gray; Raaj Narayan – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Hailey Bair – White & Case; Elizabeth Goodwin – White & Case; James Jian Hu – White & Case; Anthony Johnson – White & Case; Myungkoo Kang – White & Case; Suzanne Knijnenburg – White & Case; Hiroyuki Koda – White & Case; Andres Liivak – White & Case; Elizabeth Mapelli – White & Case; Jonathan Rochwarger – White & Case; Joel Rubinstein – White & Case; Ajita Shukla – White & Case; Howard Wettan – White & Case; Taryn Zucker – White & Case;

Law Firms: Latham & Watkins; Ropes & Gray; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; White & Case;

Clients: Baillie Gifford & Co; Ginkgo Bioworks Inc; Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp.;

Author: Martina Bellini