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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
Tom Keighley

Applied Graphene Materials shares to be suspended amid search for rescue buyer

Trading of shares in Teesside innovator Applied Graphene Materials will be suspended from next Wednesday as the company confirmed it will not publish accounts by the market deadline.

Earlier this month the Redcar firm said it had until the end of February before it ran out of money. The firm is considering takeover proposals tabled following the appointment of consultants Alvarez & Marsal Europe LLP, who were brought in when the firm was unable to raise equity investment, including a push to find US investors.

In a new update to the market, Applied Graphene - which makes graphene products used in coatings and composites - said shares would be suspended pending the publication of its accounts for the year to the end of July 2022. Redundancy consultations for the firm's 30 staff are ongoing in case a deal with a potential suitor does not come off.

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In a separate update to investors earlier this month the firm referred to interest from "various parties" but also said a solvent sale would likely require shareholder and regulatory approval.

Applied Graphene had previously signalled it would run out of cash by the end of January, but subsequently extended that "runway" until the end of February. Therefore any deal for the firm's trade and assets would likely require an interim funding injection before completion.

The latest update from the business said: "The board confirms that the previously notified strategic review is ongoing and it remains the board's intention to enter into a legally binding contract for a transaction (involving either the sale of the group's trade and assets or of the shares in the company's main operating subsidiary) by January 31, 2023 or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter. Discussions may be altered or terminated at any point and, accordingly, there can be no certainty as to entry into such a contract nor as to its terms.

"The board continues to take action to seek to protect the financial position of the company, its shareholders and creditors in the event that the strategic review does not achieve a satisfactory result. In parallel with the strategic review, the process of statutory redundancy consultations with the group's employees announced on November 23, 2022 is ongoing."

Applied Graphene's share price has tumbled over the past year from 23p per share in January 2022 to 5.8p this week. Ordinary shares in the company are also traded on the OTCQX Best Market in the US.

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