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Covid-19 stalls tech firm’s acquisition plans


Manchester-based Nanoco has confirmed that it is no longer involved in discussions with potential buyers, as a result of the disruption caused by Covid-19.

Last year, the tech firm, said that it was undertaking a review of “all strategic options”, including “but not limited to” a formal sale process.

Despite a number of parties engaging in due diligence and detailed discussions about a sale, it has not yet received any firm proposals.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange this morning, it said:

“The disruption caused by Covid-19 has escalated rapidly, impacting businesses in the UK and around the globe in an unprecedented manner and leading to exceptional market volatility. The economic climate remains highly uncertain.

“As a result, the Board has concluded that it is unlikely that the formal sale process will produce an attractive outcome in such environment. The Board has therefore decided to terminate the formal sale process and confirms it is no longer in active discussions with any interested parties.”

The firm also stated that it was in advanced stages of securing third-party funding to pursue a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung.

“Following the Period end, we filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung, seeking an injunction from further acts of infringement and significant monetary damages.  We have received a number of offers of third-party funding for the lawsuit and are now discussing the final terms of a litigation financing agreement.  Once agreed, this will protect the Group’s cash resources and decouple the funding of the lawsuit from the Group’s financial position,” said said Dr Michael Edelman, Chief Executive Officer of Nanoco Group plc.

“In response to Covid-19, we have taken immediate action to reduce our cost base further and to extend our cash runway while retaining our core competence in production, scale-up and R&D. These actions are designed to preserve the financial position of the Group and to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders by protecting our core IP assets, the ongoing Samsung lawsuit, and continued employment of our highly skilled staff. Whilst we are disappointed that we had to terminate the FSP [Formal Sale Process] in light of the challenging market environment, all of these measures preserve optionality to deliver maximum value to shareholders.”

In its Interim Results, which were also published this morning, it showed revenues of £2.9m, down from £3.2m year-on-year.

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