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Warburg Research reiterates Nanostart's buy rating


Nanotechnology investor Nanostart (OTCQX: NNS, NASRY) had its 'buy' rating reiterated by equity research firm Warburg Research on Friday, following Nanostart's recent sale and acquisition of various company interests.

Venture investor Nanostart, through its Singapore-based early stage fund, recently sold its stake in Curiox, which it acquired in 2007, earlier than originally expected. According to Nanostart, a small profit was made from the deal, which will flow back into the fund's assets, and will therefore not be distributed as dividends or have a corresponding impact on earnings, said Warburg.

In December, Nanostart also announced the acquisition of a 19% stake in Microlight Sensors, a company that develops and produces sensors and optical systems, particularly focusing on safety-relevant applications in extremely low
lighting conditions.

Warburg said that Microlight could generate sales "to the tune of EUR 15- 20 m in the next 4-5 years with an extended product portfolio". This would mean a value of EUR20 million for the company, of which approximately EUR2 million would be alloted to Nanostart's share, according to Warburg's calculations.

Nevertheless, Nanostart's portfolio is still driven by its largest investment, MagForce, in which it holds a 70% stake. Berlin-based MagForce has developed a treatment for tumours using magnetic nano particles, and has recently received EU approval for brain tumour therapy. In this indication alone, the company is likely to acheive peak sales of EUR150 million.

"The realisation of commercial marketing is likely to be focussed in 2011 at Magforce, from which positive newsflow is expected to result in the next months," Warburg added.

In addition to MagForce, Nanostart has other investments in the fields of medical technology and diagnostics, as well as electrical engineering and environmentally-friendly technology. It has exited eight of the nineteen investments it has made thus far.

Frankfurt-based Nanostart is currently trading at $19.30 - up nearly 8% today. Warburg's price target for the investment firm is $35.00.

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