Haydale Graphene Industries (LON:HAYD) has made a strategic move into the US market through the acquisition of ACMC for up to US$7mln.
Based in South Carolina, ACMC specialises in the manufacture of high purity silicon carbide (SiC) whiskers, which are used to reinforce and toughen ceramics and polymers.
The deal immediately gives Haydale an established route to offer its graphene use know-how to companies and organisations across the US said Ray Gibbs, Haydale’s chief executive. It was the final piece in its geographic expansion he added.
Haydale is already working with one customer of ACMC on a cookware coating, while talks are underway with two parties over the acquisition of a Haydale plasma reactor.
To fund the deal Haydale will raise £2.1mln through a placing and subscription at 160p per share and up to a further £500,000 via an open offer.
Haydale will pay US$5mln of the possible total consideration upfront, with the remainder dependent on ACMC’s performance.
Gibbs added: “We believe that the potential to grow ACM, not only in North America, but across our other territories is huge and we see significant cross-selling opportunities.
“ACM's facility will allow us to expand to introduce our graphene capabilities and products into the US.”
He added the bussiness already generated sales of US$3.8-4mln, had an order book of US$4.5mln and 15 customers.
ACMC is the second significant overseas expansion undertaken by Haydale recently. In June it acquired Thailand–based ink and composites group Innophene.
Results for the year to June showed revenues climbing sharply to £1.92mln (£1.48mln) but heavier losses of £4mln (£3mln) as expenditure on R&D and in its new technology increased.
“"The year has been a transitional one moving the business from an R&D focussed operation into a sales and marketing organisation delivering sales of graphene enhanced products,” said Gibbs.
“The current financial year is entirely focussed on accelerating conversion of our extensive research and product development into a sales pipeline with commercial revenues of graphene enhanced products.”
Shares closed 1% lower at 182p.