The Prenetics Ltd. logo is displayed at the company’s laboratory in Hong Kong on July 31, 2020. Roy Liu | Bloomberg | Getty Images Hong Kong biotech company Prenetics is going public through a merger with Artisan Acquisition — a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC — in a deal that will value the combined entity at $1.7 billion, the companies announced Thursday. Confirming [CNBC’s earlier report](// , the two companies said the transaction is expected to close as early as the fourth quarter. This will make Prenetics the first Hong Kong unicorn, or billion-dollar start-up, to become a publicly traded company. The combined company will be traded on the Nasdaq under a new ticker symbol PRE upon completion. The merger is expected to provide up to $459 million in cash proceeds, which will go toward strategic acquisitions, geographical expansion and research and development. A lab technician wearing protective suit processes RT-PCR Covid-19 tests at Prenetics Ltd.’s laboratory in Hong Kong on Friday, July 31, 2020. Roy Liu | Bloomberg | Getty Images Artisan Acquisition is backed by Adrian Cheng, CEO and Executive Vice Chairman of Hong Kong-listed [New World Development](// . Prenetics looks to draw upon Cheng’s business portfolio which spans retail, hospitality, health care, and property. Hong Kong-based Prenetics is a diagnostic and genetic testing company which operates in 10 countries. To date, the company has conducted more than 5 million Covid-19 tests for clients including the Hong Kong government and London Heathrow Airport. It counts names like Chinese internet company [Alibaba](// , and insurers Ping An and Prudential as strategic investors. The company has grown significantly since its founding in 2014. It projects 2021 revenue to jump three-fold year-on-year to $205 million and hit $600 million by 2025. Most Related Links : [newsbinding](/) [Governmental News](/government/) [Finance News](/finance/)