Tepnel for USM at 120p

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TEPNEL Diagnostics, a start-up company that is developing a product to detect HIV in blood, is joining the Unlisted Securities Market with a pounds 5m share placing, writes Neil Thapar.

At 120p, the issue values the company at pounds 27.5m. The proceeds will be used for new laboratory facilities and to provide working capital.

Tepnel, based at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, boasts a range of scientific products and technology, including novel diagnostic testing systems for the food and medical industries.

Company directors believe the systems could meet growing legal demands and the wishes of consumers for monitoring of antibiotic contamination in foods and viral and bacterial conditions in blood.

The company is projecting a turnaround from pre-tax losses of pounds 1.3m next year to a pounds 15m profit for the year to 30 September in 1995, on sales of pounds 21m.

Dealings are expected to begin next Wednesday.