(Bloomberg) -- The owners of Babylon Holdings Ltd. are starting to consider the possibility of taking the health tech company private, less than a year after it went public, people familiar with the matter said.
Babylon, founded by its Chief Executive Officer Ali Parsa, has been holding preliminary discussions with some investors about how to address a crumbling share price that’s wiped almost $4 billion off its value since its October listing in New York, the people said.
The company is exploring multiple options, ranging from a take private to a potential deal with a strategic partner, and no final decisions have been taken, the people said. The company could also try to raise fresh funding to grow the business, one of them said.
A Babylon representative said in a statement Monday that it had not held any discussions with any potential acquirer of the company.
Founded in 2013, Babylon runs a health-care app that allows patients to schedule video calls with doctors and other specialists, including physiotherapists, and check symptoms.
It went public via a merger with Alkuri Global Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, run by former Groupon Inc. executives. The deal gave Babylon an implied equity value of about $4.2 billion. Since then, its shares have fallen about 90%, resulting in a market valuation of just $287 million.
Shares in Babylon closed Monday up 9.2% at roughly $0.84.
SPACs, which raise money so that they can buy another, still-private company, were one of Wall Street’s hottest trades during the pandemic bull market. But many of these deals are now struggling in the public markets, with investors watching billions of dollars in value disappear from the SPAC mergers they backed.
Babylon, whose shareholders include Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, is in talks to cut about 100 jobs across its global business as part of a plan to reduce costs and become profitable, Bloomberg News reported in July.
(Updates with company share price in seventh paragraph.)
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