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Versarien, Hits Record High

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Versarien hits record high on new deal and product launch – where will it go next?

Shares in advanced materials firm Versarien (LSE:VRS) shot up to their highest ever price today following the announcement of a game-changing partnership deal and the launch of a new product. As at the time of writing, shares in the business – run by manufacturing and engineering veteran Neill Ricketts – were up 9pc, or 9.5p, to a record 115p.

Although Versarien has plastic, thermal, and hard wear divisions, a significant amount of its recent focus has been on so-called wonder material graphene. Graphene is a type of carbon made up of sheets that are just one atom thick and has been called the most durable metal ever tested. This strength allows for its use in display screens, electric/photonics circuits, solar cells, and various medical, chemical and industrial processes.

The big news today was that the firm has signed a wide-ranging commercial agreement with India-listed company Arrow Greentech. Arrow Greentech is leading global manufacturer of cast water-soluble film for sectors like agrochemicals, construction, embroidery, health & hygiene, and 3D printing.

The agreement will see Arrow Greentech acts as Versarien’s exclusive agent for the supply of graphene to the tyre and associated rubber sector in India. Versarien will also supply its propriety graphene inks to Arrow Greentech for onward supply, and the two firms have agreed to collaborate on exploring the potential benefits of using graphene in banknotes and passports.

It has also granted Arrow Greentech the right of first refusal to enter discussions regarding any plans to create a manufacturing facility in India. Those discussions may include the creation of a joint venture company or the right to operate under a license granted from Versarien.

Today also saw Versarien launch Graphinks, its range of high performance, electrically conductive, graphene inks suitable for printing processes, substrates, and application in flexible electronics and antennas. Graphinks is the latest addition to Versarien’s range of commercially available 2D materials, alongside Nanane, a high purity graphene, and Hexotene, a few layer nanoplatelet powder with large lateral dimensions. The range is further supported by few-layer graphene and graphene oxide powders suitable for a wide range of industrial applications.

Following today’s announcements, Ricketts said: ‘The introduction of Graphinks into our stable of 2D materials further widens the ability of Versarien to deliver innovative solutions for industry. There are numerous potential applications for Graphinks, which can be customised to meet the individual requirements of customers, and we anticipate substantial commercial demand.

‘We are delighted to have entered into this Agreement with Arrow GreenTech, providing both a strong channel for our Graphinks into the fast-growing water-soluble film market and, more widely, a strong partner for Versarien in India.

‘In particular, the use of water soluble, bio compostable thin films are fast growing and Arrow GreenTech have globally applicable technology. With the addition of our Graphinks we aim to enable the creation of new and innovative solutions for a variety of end markets.

‘We look forward to providing further updates as our relationship with Arrow GreenTech develops alongside the others we are establishing globally.’

Following a quiet year, Versarien’s shares soared from 14p to 96p between October 2017 and January 2018. The business announced partnership deals with significant players in the consumer goods, chemicals, aerospace, and apparel sectors for the use of its products and potential future collaboration.

Since then, shares have been active, albeit with some volatility. With all the parts in place for future expansion and deals like the one secured today with Arrow Greentech opening Versarien up to massive global markets, the company’s growth looks set to continue.

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The author was remunerated but does not hold shares in the company mentioned