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ARM Innovation Hub
17 May, 2006 - 12:17 By Staff Reporter

Keronite set to raise funding ahead of its AIM flotation

Keronite International, an innovative Cambridge firm which transforms light alloy exteriors into dense and hard ceramic surfaces, is on course for a multi-million cash boost as part of a pre-IPO fundraising round.Keronite International, an innovative Cambridge firm which transforms light alloy exteriors into dense and hard ceramic surfaces, is on course for a multi-million cash boost as part of a pre-IPO fundraising round.

The company will use the funds to grow its presence in the US and the Far East where it plans to establish two new pre-production plants so it can showcase its patented chrome-free technology.

Keronite chief executive, Lars Olrik, believes the pre-IPO will have the two-pronged effect of raising a significant amount of money for the firm while establishing a sound investor base in preparation for a full IPO on AIM sometime next year.

Olrik said: “With our current investor base the best way forward is a pre-IPO. With fund managers and a foundation in place we can then go for an IPO in 2007.”

Whilst he wouldn’t be drawn on the exact figure Keronite is hoping to raise, Olrik said things were looking “extremely positive”.

Olrik wants to use part of the funds to expand Keronite’s global footprint so it can serve far away companies with local representation.

Olrik said: “We already have an operation in Shanghai and are finalising plans for a pre-production centre in Chongqing, Western China, the centre of Chinese aluminium production.

“We are also exploring the US to serve automotive suppliers in particular. We want three plants globally for the purposes of demonstration, technology development and the to use as a medium size production site.”

Money will also be spent in other areas including technology development and human resources and Keronite is already recruiting. Over 2004 and 2005 the firm grew 50 per cent and Olrik hopes to match that again over 2005/2006.

Though Keronite was established in 2000, its roots hark back to Russia where the unique Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO) technology – known as Keronite – was developed before being transferred to the UK in the 1990s.

This chrome-free process transforms the surface of light alloys such as aluminium and magnesium into a dense, hard ceramic with outstanding resistance to corrosion and wear. Keronite exploits its technology in the development of new applications for light alloys where conventional coating techniques have failed to meet customer requirements.

It has been successful across a variety of industries ranging from automotive and aerospace to electronics, oil & gas, textile machinery, tooling & moulding, architecture and consumer products.

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