Gillian Tan (Bloomberg) -- IonQ is in advanced talks to merge with blank-check company DMY Technology Group Inc. III, according to people with knowledge of the matter, creating one of the first public quantum-computing firms.
The combined company is slated to be worth about $2 billion and a deal is set to be announced in coming weeks, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Silver Lake, MSD Partners, Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy and an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Co. are in talks to participate in a so-called strategic private investment in public equity, or PIPE.
Shares of the SPAC surged 15% at 10:24 a.m. in New York.
DMY Technology is discussing raising additional equity from institutional investors, and new equity from strategic and institutional investors is set to total around $300 million, one of the people said. Existing IonQ investors are expected to roll their equity into the transaction, according to one of the people.
As with any deal that hasn’t been finalized, it’s possible terms change or talks fall apart. Representatives for IonQ and DMY declined to comment, as did spokesmen for Silver Lake and MSD Partners. Representatives of Hyundai and Breakthrough Energy Ventures didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
The SPAC, led by Chairman Harry You and Chief Executive Officer Niccolo De Masi, raised $300 million in November and said at the time it would pursue a target in consumer technology.
College Park, Maryland-based IonQ was founded in 2015 by Chris Monroe and Jungsang Kim and is led by CEO Peter Chapman. Its investors include Amazon Web Services, Samsung Catalyst Fund, GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), NEA, Lockheed Martin Corp., Airbus Ventures and Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH. IonQ in October unveiled what it describes as the world’s most powerful quantum computer.
Quantum has long been touted as the next frontier in technology. Such computers would be capable of simulating and understanding phenomena in the natural world instantly and providing the basis for systems that are unhackable. Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp., among other companies, are also working to advance quantum computing. The technology also has potential implications for producing new materials or creating new drugs.