Nanoco fulfilling its objectives to become fully funded new tech business


Tech company, Nanoco, is performing to forecast and is now a fully funded entity, said chief executive Brian Tenner in a pre-AGM trading update this morning.

The Runcorn-based company, a Manchester University spin-out which develops materials used in the manufacture of monitors and TV screens and technologies for medical imaging and the early diagnosis of cancer, is holding its annual meeting later this morning.

In February this year the company was put on a stronger financial footing after winning a high profile intellectual property case against South Korean electronics giant, Samsung, which agreed to pay the firm $150m. Nanoco decided to retain more than $90m, after litigation costs, for capital purposes, and return the remainder to shareholders.

The trading update, for the period to November 30, 2023, confirms Nanoco’s ongoing transition to a commercial production company, having now delivered the last of four important strategic milestones set by the board in 2022.

Last month it fulfilled Nanoco’s first ever commercial production orders with the shipment of two different materials for use in infra-red sensing applications.

The initial use case is expected to be for a low volume application measured in millions of units, while demand is then expected to grow gradually, enabling Nanoco to become self-financing during calendar year 2025.

Nanoco had previously already delivered the validation of its IP with the US Patent Office; a successful conclusion to the Samsung litigation; and the validation of at least one of its nanomaterials for commercial use.

On November 7, 2023, the company announced an extended and deeper collaboration with its Asian Chemical Customer for the development of a novel, second generation material for use in infra-red sensing.

It said this material will achieve even higher levels of performance, enable new potential applications, and help to secure Nanoco’s pipeline of product development for a number of years to come. The company is also in advanced discussions for a further development agreement of a new material with another major customer.

At its Runcorn site, work is under way to fit out a significant new device facility which will extend the range of services it can offer customers as well as accelerating the development of new materials, financed by the retained funds from the litigation earmarked for investment.

Overall trading remains in line with the board’s expectations for fiscal year 2024. The return of capital process remains on track for early 2024.

Previously, the board announced its intention to recruit a new non-executive director with deep sector specialism in commercialising new technologies in relevant electronics markets.

Today, it said the Nominations Committee has reviewed an extensive list of highly qualified candidates, followed by short list interviews and a number of individual candidate visits to the Runcorn site.

The recruitment process is now nearing its completion and Nanoco expects to update shareholders shortly. It said the high quality of candidates and their appetite to join the company demonstrates the clear credibility of Nanoco’s strategy and ability to build a robust position as a supplier in global electronics supply chains.

Chief executive, Brian Tenner, said: “Nanoco is now a fully funded new technology business that has already gained commercial traction for two of our products.

“We have strong and validated IP covering a range of applications and the financial wherewithal not just to defend that IP, but also to continue funding our leading edge R&D to create additional valuable IP.

“Our customers’ global reach, proven credibility, and ambitions for this technology, emphasise the opportunities for Nanoco.

“Alongside the intended return of capital in 2024, the board is confident that the group will deliver increases in shareholder value in the medium term.”

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