ECONOMY

Becton Dickinson Backing Vicarious Surgical’s D8 SPAC Deal

Medical technology giant Becton Dickinson & Co., billionaire Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures are among investors backing robotics startup Vicarious Surgical Inc.’s merger with special purpose acquisition company D8 Holdings Corp., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

A transaction that gives the combined entity an enterprise value of about $1.1 billion may be announced as soon as Thursday, said the people, requesting anonymity because the talks are private.

In addition to Becton Dickinson, Gates and Khosla, other investors set to participate in the deal’s $115 million private investment in public equity, or PIPE, include former Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and E15 VC, a venture firm, the people said. Bloomberg last month reported that Vicarious and D8 were in merger talks.

Representatives for Vicarious, D8 and Khosla declined to comment. Representatives for Gates, Becton Dickinson, Innovation Endeavors and E15 VC didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Charlestown, Massachusetts-based Vicarious, led by Chief Executive Officer Adam Sachs, develops robotics technology with the aim of improving patient outcomes and the efficiency of surgical procedures, while reducing overall health-care costs. Sachs founded the company with Sam Khalifa, its chief technology officer, and Barry Greene, a bariatric and general surgeon, and management will remain in place following the D8 deal, the people said.

Vicarious, whose technology has been granted “breakthrough device” designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is expected to have more than $400 million in cash following the transaction, and estimated 2025 revenues of $355 million, the people said.

Hong Kong-based D8’s president Donald Tang is set to join Vicarious’ board, alongside AIDS researcher David Da-I Ho, the people said. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter, they said. Once it is complete, Vicarious is set to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RBOT.

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