As foreshadowed here in early November, investment company Flinstone Technologies, which today released interim figures, has revealed plans to float one of its investments, powder coatings outfit Biocote, on Aim next year.
Flintstone, which joined Aim in June raising £4.5 million net at 33p per share, has stakes in five different early-stage ventures, many originally developed by Russian scientists. In the six months to the end of September the group made a £669,000 operating loss, 17 per cent more than in the corresponding period in 2001.
The powdering process behind Biocote, which was created in Wolverhampton, creates hygienic surfaces for use in healthcare, food processing, white goods, such as fridges, and other appliances. An early stage investor was the first Oxford Technology Venture Capital Trust.
Flintstone picked up a 25 per cent stake in the group two years ago, subsequently increased to 40 per cent, and now wants to realise an exit by floating the company on Aim. At the end of last year Oxford Technology, which retains a 10 per cent stake in the group, valued Biocote at just £555,000.
Flintstone chairman Glyn Hirsch claims the company is 'nearing profitability' and now wants to raise more money in a placing to 'expand the business' and so is preparing the company for admission to Aim 'during the first half of 2003'.
Oxford Technology's second VCT has invested in another of Flintstone's companies, Hardide. This developer of super-resistant coating for metal machinery, which enhances their performance, is completing a £2 million fundraising, which will reduce Flinstone's stake from 55 per cent to 45 per cent.
Hardide, which is a Russian idea, is valued at £2 million. The fresh funds will enable it to buy manufacturing plant and move to fresh premises.
Another Russian enterprise, rechargeable battery developer Intellikraft, is struggling following the departure of Yuri Spirin as chief executive, who founded the company from scratch.
Flintstone's shares have fallen 13.5p, or over a third, to 19.5p since flotation. The company is currently worth £9.27 million, nearly twice its net asset value at these results of £4.98 million.