Small Talk: Waterlogic's float sees strong backing from institutions

It is set to be a busy week on AIM, with at least two companies expected move ahead with flotation plans. Waterlogic, which is expected to publish its admission document this week, has already raised £40m in new money via an institutional placing. That puts it on track for a market value of about £112m when it lists later this month.

The company makes water dispensers, or purifiers, for offices, factories, hotels and other workplaces. Such machines usually work with plastic tanks filled with drinking water that need to be replaced at regular intervals.

What sets Waterlogic apart is that its dispensers connect straight to the mains water supply, doing away with the need for refills. In industry jargon, they are called "point of use" dispensers (POU), as opposed to the "bottled water-cooler" variety.

Part of the money raised via the listing will go towards funding the expansion of the company's manufacturing facilities in China. Waterlogic Qingdao Manufacturing, as the wholly owned venture is known, runs a factory in Qingdao on the country's eastern coast. The facility is about and hour's flight from Shanghai or Beijing, and employs some 200 staff that make the entire range of Waterlogic dispensers. The remainder of the funds will go towards things such as financing future acquisitions, the development of the company's Firewall UV purification technology and repaying loans.

The market appears to be a lucrative one. Back in 2009, the business consumer POU market in the US and Europe was worth a massive $2bn, according to the company, which reckons that the figure has continued to expand over the past two years.

The company's own performance has also been good, with Waterlogic generating revenues of more than $68m and boasting an installed base of about 500,000 installed machines at the end of last year.

It has an enviable reach, with its products sold in North and South America, and across Europe. It also sells in Asia, Australia and in Africa. Of these, the key markets are the US, where Waterlogic boasts a 22 per cent market share, and the UK, Denmark, Norway, Germany and France.

Institutional support has been pretty strong, with the placing believed to be have oversubscribed by more than two times. "There has been a great deal of interest from investors in Waterlogic," the chief executive Jeremy Ben-David said, adding: "Our IPO signifies the start of the next major phase of development of Waterlogic, providing us with the financial flexibility to capitalise further and thrive upon the attractive long-term growth opportunities throughout our business with a view to achieving further sustainable, profitable growth."

Spectra readies for public life

Spectra Systems, a specialist in technology that comes in handy in authenticating banknotes and other products, will unveil its intention to float today.

Based in the US, the business was founded back in 1996 by its chief executive, Dr Nabil Lawandy, who at the time was a professor at Brown. The company began with some intellectual property from the university and today has a roster of customers including a central bank from a G8 country and Crane & Co, which has been supplying the US Treasury with currency paper for well over a hundred years.

It also serves another 14 central banks, albeit indirectly, via one of the world's largest commercial security printers and paper manufacturers, which happens to be a Spectra customer.

The business produces both software and hardware products, which include high-speed currency authentication sensors that central banks install in their processing machines; the kit is powerful, with the capability to authenticate notes at rates of up to 40 per second.

Spectra also makes quality-control equipment and consumable materials such as particles, threads and inks and coatings, all of which feature signatures and codes used for authentication.

Beyond the banknote market, Spectra has made forays into the market for verifying and tracking pharmaceutical goods, branded luxury items and other products. Looking ahead, Spectra said it is in the process of commercialising a new security feature which has already been evaluated by a G8 central bank. The unidentified institution has contracted the business to develop sensors to identify the new feature along with existing ones, boding well for the innovation.

Additionally, Spectra, in conjunction with a UK firm, is talking to the Reserve Bank of India about a new-generation feature. The talks have been "through two rounds of elimination", the company said, and are expected to come to a conclusion this year. Interestingly, the features are custom-made to fit the needs of each customer, adding to Spectra's attraction.

"We are excited about floating the company on a market which is located in the centre of the world's economy," Mr Lawandy said.

"Our growth and increased shareholder value are based on the continued adoption of our products by central banks regulating the economies of key G20 countries. AIM is positioned to give us the visibility to accelerate this process."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most