Applied Graphene Materials, a UK based graphene manufacturer, today announces its intention to raise funds and to seek admission of its ordinary shares to trading on AIM (“Admission”). Dealings are expected to commence on AIM in November 2013. N+1 Singer is acting as Nominated Adviser and sole Broker to the Company. The fundraise will enable the Company to scale up production and accelerate commercialisation with blue chip partners.
Scalable, Proprietary Production Process
Applied Graphene Materials, formerly known as Durham Graphene Science, was founded by Professor Karl Coleman, a Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Durham University and was spun-out from Durham University in 2010. It is currently manufacturing high purity graphene.
Since its isolation in 2004, graphene has attracted significant commercial and academic interest given its unsurpassed electrical, thermal and mechanical properties. However, its adoption has been hampered by the inability to produce graphene cost efficiently and at scale.
The Company manufactures graphene through a proven, proprietary, continuous and scalable ‘bottom-up’ process which involves assembling carbon precursors into a graphene sheet. AGM owns the intellectual property (patent applications have been filed) and there is significant know-how behind the process. Unlike most other large volume graphene production techniques, AGM’s process does not rely on the supply of graphite and is capable of cost efficiently and continuously producing high purity graphene.
It has recently completed the commissioning of its first commercial scale facility based at the Wilton Science Park on Teesside, which is capable of producing one tonne of graphene per year. The Company intends to use part of the proceeds of the fundraise to, in the near term, expand the capacity of its plant to eight tonnes over the next 18 months.
Graphene – a wide range of end markets
Graphene possesses an unsurpassed combination of high performance characteristics, including its mechanical stiffness, strength and elasticity, its electrical and thermal conductivity, as well as its transparency and impermeability. These properties open up significant opportunities for graphene as a replacement for existing materials in applications in a wide range of fields, including consumer, military, engineering, energy, automotive and industries that require protective coatings, lubricants and barrier films. It is currently being used in very small quantities in certain manufacturing processes for consumer electronics and sporting goods.
Graphene Market – set for significant growth
Total demand for graphene is anticipated to increase from circa 40 tonnes per annum currently to circa 400 tonnes by 2017. Market forecasts* suggest a market for graphene products of US$195 million by 2018 growing to US$1.3billion by 2023.
Blue-chip commercial partners The Company’s commercial strategy is to be a value-added supplier of graphene-based performance materials to partners manufacturing products incorporating graphene. AGM possesses experience and expertise in handling and dispersing graphene into solutions that can be readily incorporated into manufacturers’ products in such a way as to optimise the impact of graphene’s properties. The Company currently has commercial agreements in place with nine partners in different application areas, with the Company working alongside each partner to assess the feasibility of incorporating its graphene into the partner’s products to enhance their properties.
Use of funds
Investment is sought to scale up the capacity of AGM’s plant to eight tonnes per annum over the next 18 months, for investment in technical and business development, commercial partnerships and to extend the applications capability.
Commenting on the decision to float on AIM, Jon Mabbitt, Chief Executive Officer of Applied Graphene Materials commented: “Applied Graphene Materials’ planned admission to AIM marks a significant step forward in the Company’s development. The global appetite for, and interest in, graphene is growing at a rapid pace. Many industries have recognised the significant qualities it possesses. We have seen considerable interest from blue-chip businesses which have recognised the advantages of our production process, enabling us to continuously produce graphene cost efficiently on a commercial scale. Admission to AIM will provide the Company with the funding for its next phase of development and build our position as a global graphene manufacturer.”
* BCC Research: Graphene: Technologies, Applications, and Markets September 2013