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Graphene NanoChem plc: DEEP DIVE

Graphene Nanochem pleases market with debt restructuring

The market cheered materials and chemicals specialist Graphene Nanochem's update today, which underlined its bid for growth again a challenging industry background.
Graphene Nanochem pleases market with debt restructuring
OVERVIEW: GRPH The Big Picture
The firm's tech is focused on the oil and gas sector...

The market cheered materials and chemicals specialist Graphene Nanochem  PLC's (LON:GRPH) update today, which underlined its bid for growth again a challenging industry background.

Shares added more than 27% as it unveiled plans to rationalise the business and restructure short term debt.

The Malaysia-headquartered  nano technology firm said the move would place it on a stronger footing and also revealed plans to sell its non-core assets, including its fuel additive assets business and the palm oil refinery, to focus on longer term, higher margin business opportunities.

It also revealed its first quarter had been positive, with the launch of its water treatment solutions by its joint venture with  Scomi Oiltools and that it was making marketing efforts focused towards securing early contract wins in this field.

It struck the deal with  Scomi, Asia's third largest oilfield services firm, in 2014 for the production of its drilling fluid solution and other nano- chemicals. The partnership gives it access to 22 different countries and 67 separate locations.

Latest landmark transactions will help to execute next growth phase, says firm

The group's main financier Malaysia Debt Ventures Berhad has approved the restructuring of the short term debt of around £16mln (about 53% of group total debt) - to be  converted into longer term debt.

The firm said £0.35 million will be paid down only in 2016 and 2017, and then the overall sum will not be due until December 2021.

To settle a further £12 million, it plans to dispose of non-core assets and initial discussions with potential buyers are already  going well.

Focused on the oil and gas sector..

The company, whose tag line is "The future. Now..", designs and makes solutions, which are enhanced by manipulating tiny (nano) molecules to improve the performance of liquids and products. It is mainly focused on the oil and gas sector.

It operates through two segments - advanced chemicals, which for example, produces liquids with improve the performance of oil drilling rigs.

It also has advanced materials, which, for example,  makes  graphene enhanced nanocomposites, which can be used in rubber or polymers to increase strength.

And the market potential is huge. Analysts last September estimated that the enhanced oil recovery industry is worth US$38bn a year currently and is growing at a compound annual rate of 29%.

The last few months have seen agreements struck.

In January, the company received its first commercial order for the Confi-Gel product - a nano-engineered gelling agent or viscosifier used in oil drilling.

The US$33,300 order came after Scomi carried out six months of testing and Scomi intends to use the product in Pakistan during the first quarter of 2016, before moving it gradually into operations in Turkmenistan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and India.

And in November last year, it won a three year agreement with a Malaysia based agri- business, which is expected to generate £500,000 of revenues in the agreement's first year.

It is  a three year leasing and tolling agreement with Temasek for the production of refined bleached deodorised palm oil, basically a refined product, at graphene's Lahad Datu Plant in Sabah in Malaysia.

What's in store?

The firm said today: "Operationally, 2016 continues to be a period of market building for the group and a number of commercial opportunities have been identified to increase sales volumes and expand market reach particularly in light of the urgent needs for water treatment solutions and significant progress is being made.

"After a difficult year, the business will become right sized, leaner and well positioned to capitalize upon future prospects in the two large markets in which we operate."

Last September, the group's interim results revealed the loss before tax widened in the six months to end June to £3.7mln from a loss of £3.5mln in the same period of 2014, while revenues fell to £7mln from £20.4mln.

Shares today gained over 23% to stand at 12p each.

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Graphene NanoChem plc Timeline

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