Inventors scent a lifesaving market

A COMPANY working on technology which will “sniff out” explosives, bird flu, and MRSA has unveiled plans to list on the Alternative Investment Market and then expand through acquisition.

A COMPANY working on technology which will “sniff out” explosives, bird flu, and MRSA has unveiled plans to list on the Alternative Investment Market and then expand through acquisition.

Sedgefield company Analytical Nano Technologies (Antnano) develops and manufactures nanotechnology air-monitoring equipment such as machines for detecting airborne contaminants.

Backed by various private equity sources it is now valued at £4.5m and the four-year-old firm won its first commercial order late last year – a £750,000 deal with Unilever.

It says once it has floated on the AIM it will be looking to expand through organic growth and acquisitions.

Antnano has also reshuffled its management after appointing a new CEO, Dr Allan Syms – a non-executive director for two-and-a-half years – and outgoing CEO Joe Arend has been appointed executive chairman. The firm, which is currently listed on the Plus Market, has appointed WH Ireland Corporate Finance as its broker to work alongside Alfred Henry Corporate Finance on its admission to Aim by April.

Mr Arend said: “We are delighted Allan has chosen to become CEO as I take on the role of chairman. Apart from bringing an extensive background in developing businesses, he has a proven track record at plc board level which will be a major asset as we complete this part of our corporate strategy.”

Dr Syms said: “As a non-executive director I am well aware of the exciting opportunity the company has created to be a leading force in the sector.

“We have already established a consortium of major blue chip companies that wish to adopt our new, highly advanced technology, which is set to become an industry standard. I am particularly excited not only with the company’s core product, but also with the other applications that exist for our technology, notably the use of our products to detect MRSA in hospitals, avian flu on farms or hidden explosives in airports and train stations.

“I look forward to helping Antnano reach its full growth potential both organically and via strategic acquisitions.”

A spokesman said there were a number of companies operating in the same field that it would be looking at buying.

Antnano employs 20 people at sites in Sedgefield, Sunderland and Singapore. It listed its shares on the Plus Market, which is a junior to AIM, last February.

The firm expects to increase its revenue on the back of research projects carried out with Unilever, Procter & Gamble and bulk enzyme producers Novozymes and Genencor.

 

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