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Gloucestershire Business News

China still open to major deal with Gloucestershire firm

Even in these desperately trying times a Gloucestershire-based business has been able to secure a potentially lucrative deal with China.

No stranger to partnerships in the world's heartland of manufacturing that is China, the Cheltenham-based engineering firm has revealed its latest win.

AIM-listed Versarien plc, which describes itself as "the advanced materials engineering group", has announced Versarien Graphene (Hong Kong) Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Versarien has signed a joint venture agreement with Young-Graphene (Beijing) Technology Company Limited ("YG").

It is a deal that looks likley to lead to considerable investment as the world continues to explore the potential of graphene.

Its wholly foreign owned enterprise Beijing Versarien Technology Co Ltd will become the joint venture company with YG for the development of its activities in China.

Neill Ricketts, chief executive officer of Versarien, said: "Despite the impact of Covid-19 around the world, the company has been able to continue to make progress on executing its strategy in China, as illustrated with the confirmation of this joint venture agreement.

"As highlighted in our February 2020 update, discussions are continuing to facilitate an equity investment in Versarien."

Key highlights of the deal are as follows, suggesting significant investment is ahead in further developing the firm.

* Agreement signed with YG to form a 50 per cent-owned Chinese Joint Venture (the "Joint Venture" or "JV") for the development of applications for Versarien's technologies in the region.

* RMB1 million (c.£121,000) initial investment each by Versarien and YG over the next 12 months subject to certain milestones.

* The Joint Venture will have exclusive use of Versarien's technologies in the PRC. Versarien will retain rights to its existing technologies and intellectual property, with newly developed intellectual property being retained by the JV and/or the end users.

* Agreement includes, and is contingent on, a commitment by YG to procure subscription for Versarien ordinary shares from third parties in three tranches, which in aggregate will total up to 15 per cent of Company's current issued share capital ("Versarien Share Subscriptions").

* Half of any gross funds raised in these subscriptions will be committed to investment in the JV's activities in the PRC.

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