This announcement is not an admission document or a prospectus. It does not constitute or form part of, and should not be construed as, an offer to sell or issue, or a solicitation of any offer to buy or subscribe for, any securities, nor should it or any part of it form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract or commitment whatsoever. Investors should not subscribe for or purchase any securities referred to in this announcement except on the basis of information in the admission document (the “Admission Document”) to be published by Trackwise Designs plc (“Trackwise” or the “Company”) in due course in connection with the proposed admission of the ordinary shares in the capital of the Company (the “Ordinary Shares”) to trading on AIM, a market operated by London Stock Exchange plc (the “London Stock Exchange”). Copies of the Admission Document will, following publication, be available during normal business hours on any day (except Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays) from the registered office of the Company and on the Company’s website.
25 July 2018
Trackwise Designs plc
(“Trackwise” or the “Company”)
Intention to Float on AIM
Trackwise, a leading provider of specialist products using printed circuit technology, is pleased to announce its intention to seek admission of its Ordinary Shares to trading on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange (“Admission”). It is anticipated that dealings in the Ordinary Shares will commence at 8.00am on 31 July 2018 under the ticker TWD and ISIN number of GB00BFYT9999. Arden Partners plc is sole bookrunner for the placing and is acting as nominated adviser and broker to the Company.
- Trackwise is an established business that manufactures specialist products using printed circuit technology
- Based in Tewkesbury, Trackwise has two divisions: RF (“Radio Frequency”) and IHT (“Improved Harness Technology”)
- The Company develops specialist products and has an entrenched and long-standing customer base within its well-established RF division
- The directors of the Company (the “Directors”) believe that with the continuing adoption of mobile technology, current 4G development and future roll out of 5G RF products will continue to deliver strong demand for the Company.
- The RF division has resulted in the Company achieving growth of 6 per cent. CAGR from 2015 to 2017
- The IHT division utilises the Company’s unique proprietary technology to manufacture unlimited length multilayer printed circuits
- IHT is fully patented in the UK, US and China with a number of other patents waiting to be confirmed globally and provides considerable advantages to companies across a range of sectors – these include: weight reduction, improved precision, reliability and performance
- The Company has several high-profile customers for its fast emerging IHT division, including: customers from aerospace and automotive sectors
- During the first six months of 2018 the Company generated 1.7 times the total unaudited IHT revenues for 2017
- The Company is profitable and cash generative
Reasons for Admission
Trackwise is seeking Admission to AIM to:
- provide the Company with equity finance to support its growth;
- deliver a strategy of investing in capability and capacity; and
- increase its corporate profile, capital expenditure and further product development and invest in its global sales programme.
The Company intends to raise £7.0 million; £5.5 million in new equity and the balance to the selling shareholders, with an anticipated market capitalisation on Admission of £15.5 million.
Philip Johnston, CEO of Trackwise, commented:
“I am delighted to announce the proposed Admission of Trackwise to AIM, which will position the Company for the next phase of its development in the coming years as we look to capitalise on strong new opportunities within our sector.
“This will position Trackwise with the prospect of further diversifying its range of products offered under the RF division, as well as significant potential upside as we further address the market for our IHT offering.
“In particular, becoming an AIM listed public company will provide an appropriate structure for the long-term development of the business and enable us to strengthen our team in order to sell our products on a much larger scale.”
Philip Johnston (CEO) / Mark Hodgkins (CFO)
+44 016 8429 9930
Arden Partners plc (Nominated Adviser and Broker)
Steve Douglas / Ciaran Walsh / Daniel Gee-Summons
+44 020 7614 5900
IFC Advisory Limited (Financial PR & IR)
Tim Metcalfe / Miles Nolan / Zach Cohen
+44 020 3934 6600
Background to the Company
Trackwise was established in 1989 as a printed circuit boards (“PCBs”) design bureau and moved soon after into manufacturing PCBs. The Directors consider Trackwise’s key differentiator to be its ability to manufacture large format PCBs. In 1996, the Company manufactured a nine-foot PCB for an early GSM900 base station antenna. In 2000, Philip Johnston acquired Trackwise in a management buyout. Following the management buyout, Trackwise focused its operations as a specialist, high frequency PCB manufacturer for the RF market.
The Company targeted a niche segment of the PCB market and by manufacturing bespoke and lower volume PCB which is less attractive to the high-volume PCB manufacturers located overseas (principally in China). The Directors believe that by having a focused strategy concentrating on RF PCBs allowed the Company to continue to grow in a competitive market. A significant portion of the products manufactured by Trackwise are supplied into the mobile telephone network infrastructure antenna market. Trackwise is a tier 2 or tier 3 supplier to mobile network operators.
In 2005, Trackwise was awarded the Queen’s Award for Export.
Since 2010, Trackwise has been developing its proprietary and innovative manufacturing process, using printed circuit technology which has become the IHT offering. The original idea for this development came following a meeting with a large UK aero engine manufacturer (the “OEM”), who were seeking to replace the wiring inside their jet engines with flexible PCBs, to save weight and space. As the engines are large, so would be the flexible PCBs and one requirement was that these should be a single piece rather than multiple, shorter sections daisy-chained together. The OEM put a request for a proposal to the international PCB manufacturing community. Trackwise considered this request and, by adapting a few of the processes steps that constrain the size of PCBs developed a means of manufacturing length unlimited multilayer PCBs. The Directors believe that Trackwise was the only company to respond in the affirmative to the OEM requirement that the PCB should be a single piece. The OEM ultimately went ahead with their development based upon multiple, shorter, PCBs connected together rather than the single piece solution offered by Trackwise. At that time, Trackwise was not accredited with the necessary aerospace quality approvals and the potential advantages offered by IHT were offset by the risk to the OEM in using an inexperienced supplier.
The Company therefore embarked upon a development program both to its technology and also to its own internal processes and controls so as to address these barriers to IHT adoption.
In 2017 the Company signed a lease for a combined factory and office facility in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire and completed the move in January 2018. The new facility increased the manufacturing capacity for the Company and has available space for further manufacturing equipment onsite. Trackwise currently employs 38 staff (including 3 part time).
Product and Technology
The Company is split into two divisions, the first being Radio Frequency and the second Improved Harness Technology.
The RF business unit manufactures specialist printed circuits which are primarily used in the antenna infrastructure to support the 3G / 4G networks. However, the technology has several other applications which render the RF business a stable revenue generator. The other applications include:
- Defence / Aircraft Radar systems
- RF Slip Rings
- Ground Penetrating Radar
The IHT division utilises the Company’s unique proprietary technology, a patented process that Trackwise has developed to manufacture unlimited length multilayer flexible printed circuits. The Directors believe that the technology has many applications but believe one of its primary uses could be to replace traditional wire harness used in a variety of industries.
Flexible printed circuits, since their initial development more than 50 years ago, have been demonstrated to show benefits over traditional wire harness including space saving, weight saving, improved precision, improved reliability, reduced installation time, ability to be bonded onto/into supporting structure and the ability to integrate electronic components. As a result of these proven benefits, flexible printed circuits are now a multi-billion-dollar global industry. The Directors believe that the company’s patented process – unlimited length multilayer flexible printed circuits – opens up these advantages over traditional wire harnesses to a significant total addressable market, currently excluded by historic supply chain size limits.
The Directors have identified the following immediate key target markets for IHT:
- industrial and scientific
Board of Directors
Ian Griffiths – Non-Executive Chairman
Ian Griffiths has agreed to join Trackwise as a Non-executive Chairman with effect from Admission.
Ian brings wide-ranging international experience of the engineering business-to-business sector at both strategic and operational levels, having spent nearly 30 years with GKN plc. Ian served as a non-executive director on the Board of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc from 2003 to 2012. He has been a non-executive director of Renold plc since 2010 where he also chairs the Remuneration Committee and was Chairman of Hydro International Limited which he joined as a non-executive director and Chairman-elect in October 2014. He is also a non-executive Director of AIM listed Autins Group plc, which he joined in 2016.
Philip Johnston – Chief Executive Officer
Philip’s early career was in the space industry which included a key management role in the Prime Contractor team for Envisat, a large European satellite, managing multi million ECU work packages involving different companies across Europe. Philip joined Trackwise in 1999 and acquired the Company in 2000. Under his stewardship the Company has enjoyed sustained growth based largely through export success and innovation. Philip is named inventor on several UK and international patents and he has led several government supported R&D consortiums including a European CleanSky programme. Philip holds degrees in both Aeronautical Engineering and Law.
Mark Hodgkins – Chief Financial Officer
Mark is chartered accountant, a former audit partner with Grant Thornton and Corporate Finance partner with Ernst & Young. Since 2005 he has served as CEO of several engineering businesses and a private industrial holding company.
As well as his role with the Company which began in May 2016, Mark is a director of EnSilica Limited, a growing private fabless chip design business, where he is responsible for overseeing the management’s delivery of its growth strategy and driving improvements to corporate governance.
Lesley Jackson – Non-Executive Director
Lesley Jackson has agreed to join Trackwise as a Non-executive Director with effect from Admission. Lesley is the former CFO and executive director of Stock Spirits Group plc a position which she had held since 2011. Before Stocks Spirit Group plc, Lesley was the CFO of United Breweries Ltd from 2005 to 2008 and the group finance director of William Grant & Sons Distillers Limited from 2008 to 2011. Lesley is a Chartered Accountant.
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