“The purchase of a major shareholding in Thinfilm by one of the world’s largest investment company’s and this major investment in Norwegian technology is a much more significant event for Thinfilm than a milestone,” says CEO Davor Sutija.
“Equally significant is that we are now on the radar of one of the largest investment companies in Great Britain and the US.”
It was announced that the British-American investment company Invesco intends to invest $23 million in the Norwegian technology company Thinfilm, assuming that Thinfilm’s annual general meeting approves the new share issue at a price of $ .41. Invesco will also receive 46.7 million warrants at an exercise price of $ .50. These can be exercised after 12 months and have an exercise period of three years.
“Invesco’s investment in Thinfilm confirms that we are a leader within printed electronics and I believe also confirms that there are others than us who believe this market will be enormous”, says Sutija.
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Thinfilm primarily prints memory on a plastic substrate. The benefits of this technology are that the substrate is only millimetres thick and is flexible. It can therefore be placed in a wide range of products.
The costs associated with printed electronics are a fraction of those of silicon-based memory (which dominates the market today). This means that even very reasonably priced products can be fitted with memory solutions. Sutija talks about Memory Everywhere matching well with the global trend of Internet of Everything.
Thinfilm, in its investor updates, has set the goal of achieving sales of 1.5 billion dollars if the market develops, as they believe it will.
“We believe that our brand protection and integrated system products will be able to gain entry to vertical markets such as consumer products, health services and retail trade”, says Sutija.
It was via the London based broker Cenkos Securities, which Invesco is the largest shareholder of, that Thinfilm got the opportunity to present the company to the new owners.
“The final agreement has taken some time to get into place. We have, however, in several quarterly reports communicated that we were working to bring in major, international investors.”
Thinfilm’s cash reserves at the end of June were almost $ 5.3 million, meaning that the company had no immediate need for new capital.
The company had however, before the summer, started the construction of a printing facility for electronics in Linköping, Sweden with capacity of 50 million labels a year. The company was therefore working to source money in the second half of the year.
The stock market reacted positively to the news that money most probably was on the way in to Thinfilm’s reserves. The share price yesterday afternoon was up 15 per cent to $ .52, which gives the technology company a value of $ 223 million.
Up 24% in Two Weeks
Invesco will, assuming that Thinfilm’s annual general meeting accepts the new share issue, hold 13.3 per cent of the company’s shares, making Invesco the company’s largest shareholder and larger than the original Opticom shareholder Eric Simpson. The Hong Kong based investor holds 34.6 million shares (9.8 per cent of Thinfilm), the next largest shareholders being John Markus Lervik and Tore Aksel Voldberg.
The British investment fund has, based on the issue price of $ .41 per share and which also was the level Thinfilm shares were trading at two weeks ago, already seen a price increase of 25 per cent and a paper profit of $ 5.8 million.
Lervik’s paper profit over the last two weeks has also not been small. The value of the entrepreneur’s shares has risen by almost $ 3 million to 14.6 million, while the value of Voldberg’s shares have gone from $ 7.6 million to $ 9.5 million.
Published: July 9, 2013