City round-up: OTAQ; Renold

A £2m fund raising has been announced by Lancaster-based marine technology group, OTAQ.

OTAQ targets the aquaculture, geotracking and offshore markets. It already has a number of established products in its portfolio and is focused on further developing its presence, customer base and cross-selling opportunities within core markets, both organically and via acquisition.

The fund raise is by way of a conditional placing of convertible loan notes which will be redeemable after three years with a cash coupon of 10% per annum. The Convertible Loan Notes will be convertible into OTAQ ordinary shares of one penny each at a price of 3.0 pence per share.

The Convertible Loan Notes will not be admitted to trading on any stock exchange.

Dowgate Capital will undertake the placing on behalf of the company and to date it has received non-binding indications of interest from certain institutional and other qualified investors to participate in the placing of £1.5m. Certain of the directors have also indicated that they intend to participate in the placing.

OTAQ intents to use the proceeds to repay the CBIL loan from Growth Lending 2020 Limited, for further product development, and for general working capital.

The company also issued a trading update today which revealed an increase in its expected adjusted EBITDA loss.

Last December OTAQ said it expected to report a reduced adjusted EBITDA loss for the year of approximately £245,000, down from a loss of £331,000 in the prior year, which was adjusted for a one-off deposit returned in respect of SealFence and other restructuring costs.

Today, it said it expects to reported a reduced EBITDA loss of approximately £311,000, against the previous year’s £331,000.

The EBITDA loss is some £66,000 higher than previous guidance, due to certain non-recuring items, it said.

The company continues to manage its limited cash resources with care, and it continues with scheduled repayments of the CBIL loan, which is down to £857,000. The company’s audited full year results to December 31, 2023 will be announced on, or before,June 28, 2024.

Trading in Q1 of the 2024 financial year has been encouraging, said OTAQ, with revenues up 19% over Q1 FY23 and the company continues to see progress across the group.

The Offshore Products division has maintained the positive performance seen in 2023. Aquaculture has also seen a number of positive developments. The company’s sonar shrimp system developed for Minnowtech LLC, is now gaining traction in its target markets.

The company has also identified further new customer interest in its established Sealfence solution from salmon farmers in several major salmon production regions, having sold 19 Sealfence units into these core target markets in the first quarter.

OTAQ added that it is pleased to confirm that, following four years in development, it has now completed successful trials of its Live Plankton Analysis System (LPAS), and has, this week, launched LPAS at the Aquaculture UK conference held in Aviemore.

Chief executive, Phil Newby, said: “The board acknowledges with satisfaction the company’s progress, especially the favorable market conditions in the Offshore sector, where OTAQ is strategically positioned to pursue emerging global growth prospects for its OceanSense, Eagle IP, and subsea electrical connector & penetrator solutions.

“Given the anticipated improvement in reported revenue for 2023 and the favourable start to 2024, the board remains confident in its current growth strategy. The recent commercial launch of LPAS marks a significant milestone for the company, one that we are poised to develop throughout the remainder of 2024 and beyond.”



Manchester industrial chains and power transmissions manufacturer, Renold, has renewed its successful partnership with British Cycling for a further three years, which will see it continue to provide bespoke bike chains for the Great Britain Cycling Team.

This long standing partnership has seen Renold and Bristol University share their expertise to deliver bespoke handmade chains for the Great Britian Cycling Team’s track cyclists since 2011.

Since the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Renold has created a specific Olympic chain, which has supported continued success on the track. The chain evolved through to the Tokyo Games, for which an entirely new chain was unveiled, offering more efficiency than previous models.

The renewed partnership will see more than 100 bespoke chains manufactured for the British Olympic and Paralympic teams at the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.

Stephen Park, Performance Director for the Great Britain Cycling Team, said: “Our mission is to be the best sports team in the world and having such a high quality partner in Renold, who have been providing us with the best bike chains since 2011, supports us greatly towards that goal. We look forward to seeing what further innovations the next three years of our partnership will bring.”

Darren Henry, Commercial Director for British Cycling said: “Securing the ongoing support of an expert partner such as Renold highlights the value that such a long term and collaborative partnership brings to both organisations. Our valued technical and equipment partners play a vital role in supporting both British Cycling and the Great Britain Cycling Team to deliver continued success in the future, and power us towards our mission to bring the joy of cycling to everyone.”

Rodrigo Andres, Renold Chain Europe’s Commercial Director, said: “We are very proud to work with British Cycling and play our part in the success of one of the most successful track cycling teams in the world.

“The fact that Renold has been British Cycling’s chosen chain partner for well over a decade illustrates the outstanding, market leading, quality and performance offered by our highly engineered chains. We wish the team every success in the coming Olympics and all future competitions.”

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