Oceanlinx, an Australian renewable energy company that went through a management shake-up in the summer, is to brave the Aim market in a flotation that could value it at up to £90m ($184m).
The company is understood to be looking to raise about £30m as it expands in the UK, USA and southern Africa.
David Weaver, executive chairman and chief executive, was previously European managing director for BP’s gas, power and renewables division.
He said the timing was right despite an initial public offering market that has slowed because of the credit crunch.
“It’s not a desperate attempt to raise money,” Mr Weaver said, though he added the company needed capital as it entered other markets.
Oceanlinx is one of four companies developing wave power devices at the Wave Hub, a £28m testing site off the coast of Cornwall.
Rough seas make the UK ideally suited to the technology, Mr Weaver said, adding that the country had the world’s “most openly tradeable energy market” and large subsidies to incentivise research and development.
Oceanlinx has developed a device that uses the motion of waves to create a compressed flow of air that drives a turbine. It intends to use money from the flotation to connect six more devices to the grid to add to an existing 1.5 megawatt platform.
In addition to electricity, the company plans to use the energy to convert sea water into “industrial and potable” fresh water.
It is understood that Oceanlinx, called Energetech until April, has already raised £12m from institutional investors. It declined to name them, but it is thought that its biggest shareholder is Zurich-based Emerald Technology Ventures.
Mr Weaver in June replaced Inge Fretheim – now a non-executive director – as chairman, and Tom Engelsman as chief executive. He said the company had overhauled a “bad business model”. Instead of simply selling the devices, the company now owns and operates them itself.
Libertas is nominated adviser to the planned flotation.
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