Nanotechnology pioneer considers US listing

PIONEERING nanotechnology firm Nanoco is planning to step up to the main market of the London Stock Exchange and is considering a US listing.

The Manchester and Runcorn-based company makes quantum dots – tiny fluorescent particles of semiconductor material which have the ability to emit light.

They are in demand by the makers of electronic goods, such as mobile phones, televisions and light bulbs, because they consume less power than existing systems.

In its interim statement the company, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market, said it would make the stock market changes “as soon as is practicable”. In the six months to the end of January revenues fell from £2.5m to £679,000 and pre-tax losses widened to £5m from £1.6m.

The company said the reduction in revenue was a consequence of the completion of joint development programmes. “At this stage in the company’s development, revenues are primarily a reflection of the amount and timing of milestone and joint development payments from strategic partners”, it said. The heavier losses were partly due to the costs involved in doubling capacity at the Runcorn factory.

In January last year Nanoco agreed a deal with US conglomerate, the Dow Chemical Company, which gave it exclusive worldwide rights for the sale, marketing and manufacture of its quantum dots for use in electronic displays. The deal trebled the value of its shares to around 150p, but they’ve since fallen bakc to 98p giving it a market value of £205m.

Nanoco struck a follow-on agreement with light bulb manufacturer Osram in December and has just agreed another follow-on deal with a South Korean electronics firm.

Chairman Anthony Clinch said: “We are pleased with the positive progress made during the past six months in tailoring Nanoco quantum dots for use with particular display manufacturers’ applications. Meanwhile, Dow has continued to move forward with the various preparatory and regulatory steps necessary for building its Nanoco quantum dot production facility in South Korea and Dow expects to complete the facility in the early part of next year.

“The adoption of quantum dots is gaining momentum in the display industry and we look forward to the early adoption of Nanoco quantum dots in commercial display applications.”