Ultrasound start-up Butterfly Network to go public via $1.5-billion merger

Butterfly Network and special purpose acquisition company Longview Acquisition announced Friday that they have entered into a definitive business combination agreement, giving the ultrasound developer an enterprise value of around $1.5 billion. The proposed merger, which has been approved by the companies' boards, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.

Laurent Faracci, who was appointed CEO of Butterfly in March, remarked that the merger "will amplify and accelerate" the global adoption of its Butterfly iQ ultrasound transducer, which can perform whole-body imaging with a single handheld probe using semiconductor technology. He added that "this partnership will enable us to bring more Butterfly innovative solutions to market faster."

Under the deal, Butterfly's management team will continue to lead the combined company, with Faracci at the helm, while Longview chairman Larry Robbins will serve on the new company's board. Butterfly will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Longview, which will be renamed Butterfly Network. The company is expected to have around $584 million in cash after closing.

The FDA cleared the Butterfly iQ "ultrasound-on-a-chip"-based imaging system for iPhone in 2017. The hand-held ultrasound device is indicated in multiple clinical applications, including abdominal, cardiac, foetal, gynaecological, musculoskeletal and small organ. Butterfly began shipping the device in the US the following year. The device received the CE mark last year and is also approved in Canada

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