Belfast Telegraph

Fusion aiming to raise £5.5m on stock exchange next week

By Margaret Canning

A Belfast-based biotech firm has confirmed it will have a valuation of £18.1m when it floats on the London stock exchange next week.

Fusion Antibodies, which is based at Springbank Industrial Estate in the west of the city, aims to raise £5.5m when it floats on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on Monday.

The company, which provides antibody engineering services to global drug manufacturers, becomes Northern Ireland's third listed company and joins First Derivatives on the AIM. IT company Kainos is listed on the main London stock exchange.

Shares will trade under the AIM symbol FAB. Following admission, venture capital fund Crescent Capital II will remain the company's biggest shareholder, with 12% of enlarged share capital, followed by Viridian Growth Fund at 8.29%. Economic development agency Invest NI is another shareholder with 4.41%.

The company's flotation plans were first revealed in the Belfast Telegraph last week. It hopes to use the fundraising to expand at Springbank. As well as doubling the size of its premises, the firm also hopes to double its workforce to 50 over the next two years.

Belfast commercial law firm Tughans acted as legal advisers to Fusion Antibodies in the deal.

The company was established in 2001 as a spin-out from Queen's University specialising in drug development.

It said it had recorded profits over the last two financial years, with annual sales of £1.9m in the year to March 31 2017, and an order book of £1.3m. In the six months to September 2017, it had turnover of £1.4m.

Chief executive Dr Paul Kerr said: "We are very pleased with the level of interest generated from new institutional investors in support of our AIM listing. When concluded we anticipate the placing to be oversubscribed and this demonstrates the strong support for our business strategy as we continue to invest in further growth across the business.

"We have established Fusion as a one-stop shop for antibody engineering and humanisation, and cell line development for the world's largest developers of antibody-based therapeutics drugs and diagnostics.

"We already have our first humanisation project in clinical trials and expect more to follow, and continue to grow the business having established a healthy forward order book.

"The move to AIM and the additional funding will allow us to continue this growth trajectory by expanding our capacity and developing our offering of new, high value, market differentiating products."

Belfast Telegraph

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