14 Dec 2018
French photonics company says new share issue was five-times oversubscribed.
Paris-listed Lumibird, the company formed from the merger of Quantel and Keopsys, has raised €7.8 million in cash after issuing new shares.
With the offer significantly oversubscribed, the firm’s board of directors exercised an extension clause, eventually issuing nearly 870,000 new shares.
The capital increase will help to bolster the company’s balance sheet, which as of June 30 this year showed cash assets of €4.5 million – down from €10.7 million at the end of 2017.
But Lumibird has indicated that it wants to use the additional cash to help it expand. “The funds raised will primarily make it possible to contribute towards financing potential external growth operations, notably with a view to acquiring new laser technologies,” it announced, adding as a caveat:
“If external growth projects are not carried out, the Group will use all or part of the net proceeds from the capital increase for internal investments in research and development projects.”
Lumibird’s CEO Marc Le Flohic added: “I would like to thank Lumibird’s shareholders for having subscribed for this capital increase on a massive scale, highlighting their confidence in the Group’s strategy and the outlook for its development.”
“Thanks to this operation’s success, we are further strengthening our financial resources and giving ourselves the means needed to take a further step forward with our development," Le Flohic continued. "This will involve integrating new technologies, through external growth or investment in new research and development projects.”
Restructure helps profits
Lumibird’s stock price rallied strongly in spring 2018, as the company rebounded from a weak start to the year and said that fast-growing sales of lidar sensors would help push its annual revenues past €100 million.
Group profitability has also improved with a company restructure, and Lumibird posted net income of €2.6 million in the first half of the year – up from only €0.7 million in the first half of 2017.
Under its revamped structure, the group’s product-focused divisions sell laser and photonics equipment to Lumibird’s main business, which then re-sells to its various subsidiaries in Japan, China, US, and Germany for distribution.
Le Flohic and his team are aiming to create what the company describes as a “European champion” for lasers with their strategy. One key element is an effort to “democratize” laser technology for civil applications – for example with applications in autonomous vehicles and medicine – while a second strand involves playing a key role in the establishment of a “defense optronics” industry in France.
But like many stocks, especially in the technology sector, the Lumibird share price has slipped in value since reaching a long-term high earlier in the year. Shortly after it announced the new share issue, Lumibird's stock price stood at €10.90 on the Paris exchange - well down on the summer high of €17.87, but still up strongly from around €7 a year ago.