Laser technology company expands into new markets

A LASER technology company has been given a £1.49m finance injection to support its rapid growth after a record 149% increase in year-on-year exports.

Llanelli-based Chromogenex Technologies, which de-listed from Aim in 2009, will use the £1.2m structured debt and equity investment from Finance Wales and £290,000 non repayable finance from the Welsh Assembly Government to meet increased demand and expand into emerging new markets.

The increased demand follows the company achieving a number of new regulatory approvals in Brazil, India, Australia, Canada, South Korea and the US.

The company’s laser and light technology systems are used in cosmetic treatments, such as hair reduction/removal, skin rejuvenation and non-invasive liposuction procedures as well as to treat acne and vascular lesions.

Chromogenex also plans to bring two exciting new innovative applications to market over the coming months.

Its chief executive, Peter McGuinness, said: “We now export to over 28 countries and we’ve recently achieved a number of new regulatory approvals.

“We are proud to have achieved a 149% increase in year-on-year exports. This investment will enable us to expand to meet increased demand from new markets as well as to bring two new applications to market in the next two years.”

David Birch, investment executive at Finance Wales, said: “Chromogenex’s management team has a clear focus on profitable, global growth and has developed a market-leading range of laser-based systems.

It now plans to target emerging as well as existing markets for cosmetic treatments.

“Finance Wales is pleased to invest in Chromogenex’s expansion as it is set to introduce some exciting new products which should see it grow even further.”

Following its investment Finance Wales has a 40% stake in the business.

Chromogenex Technologies has been at the forefront of laser and light technology in the UK since 1985.

In 1994 it developed and patented the world’s first laser for permanent hair reduction. The company also introduced the first patented wrinkle-reduction Nlite laser to receive US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance and 2000 saw it become the first company to receive FDA approval for inflammatory acne vulgaris treatment.

Simon Marsden, director at Gambit Corporate Finance, who acted as lead adviser to Chromogenex on the transaction, said: “We are delighted to have acted for Chromogenex on its fundraising in what was a complex transaction, in addition to introducing Roland Denning as the company’s new chairman.Š

“The fundraising provides a platform for the business as it enters the next stage in its development.Š The company faces a number of exciting opportunities as it looks to increase the penetration of its products both in terms of existing and new markets.”

Alison Vickers, partner at Bevan & Buckland, Chromogenex Technologies’ accountants, who advised on the deal, added: “This was a complicated transaction with a number of tax and financial issues that needed to be resolved to ensure there were no adverse implications for the new management team.

“We have provided Chromogenex with business, accounts and tax advice for many years.

“This is a great opportunity for them to develop their product range further and increase their share of the cosmetic laser treatment market.”

Other advisers on the deal were Hugh James (legal to Finance Wales) and Berry Smith (legal to Chromogenex Technologies).

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