Mercia Technologies PLC, a Midlands-based investment business that specialises in building, funding and commercialising technology businesses across the UK, has committed to invest £1.5m of a £4.0m investment round into Impression Technologies Ltd, an aluminium forming company based on intellectual property developed at the University of Birmingham and Imperial College London. This investment joins investment from Imperial Innovations plc and will enable the establishment of an innovative press facility.
This additional capital follows a long-standing investment by the Group's third party funds managed by its wholly owned subsidiary, Mercia Fund Management ("MFM"). Following this investment, Mercia will have an 18% direct holding in Impression Technologies, and the Group will control 26% of the business when its stake via its third party funds are included.
Impression Technologies specialises in developing technology for forming complex, high-strength, lightweight components for the transportation industry. The Company's patented Heat treatment, Forming and in die Quenching (HFQ®) technology was developed by Impression Technologies and Imperial College, building on the founding research at the University of Birmingham. The technology allows a wide range of aluminium alloys, including ultra-high strength grades, to be formed in a fast pressing operation without compromising the strength or metallurgical properties of the material. The result is complex but lightweight components, which can be used in the manufacture of cars, trains and airplanes.
The proceeds will be used to fund the acquisition of a press and establishment of a press facility in collaboration with PAB Group ("PAB"), in order to continue development of the technology, and to effectively keep up with volume demand. PAB is currently supplying parts, made with HFQ technology, to the motor industry.
Mark Payton, Chief Executive of Mercia Technologies PLC, said:
"We are proud to continue to support this innovative company, which is locared in the Midlands, the heart of the UK manufacturing space for the automotive and aerospace sectors, and based in part on technology from one of our partners, the University of Birmingham.
"The addition of a high speed press facility is crucial in enabling the Company to both demonstrate its patented Hot Form Quench technology and service the high level of commercial interest which has already been expressed by key players in the motor and aerospace industries.
"Impression Technologies provides a demonstration of our regional emphasis and our focus on UK technology sectors that offer investment prospects with high growth potential, including advanced materials, engineering and specialised manufacturing."