Acacia Coal Ltd has ditched its coal assets and relisted on the ASX today as an “environmentally- focused” company after acquiring Graphene Technology Solutions.
The former coal developer has been rebranded and renamed Sparc Technologies Limited (ASX:SPN) in a reverse takeover deal, which will see Acacia’s core business transition from coal and mineral exploration to the development and commercialisation of “new-world” products.
Sparc will initially harness graphene to develop technologies that could revolutionise the mining industry such as improved metals recovery from tailings and environmental remediation.
Graphene is a 2D material made of carbon atoms with a unique hexagonal lattice structure that makes it lightweight, thin, strong, super conductive, elastic, anti-microbial, anti-corrosive and hydrophobic, meaning it can separate toxins from water.
Sparc made a strong debut on the ASX today and was trading at 36c a share as at 11.30am, up 80% on the 20c IPO price.
About 20m shares were sold to raise $4m to purchase Graphene Technology Systems (GTS) and recapitalise the company, which now has $6.1m in its coffers to pursue business opportunities.
Sparc was relisted with 70.5m ordinary shares on issue, a market value of $14.1m and an enterprise value of $8m.
As well as developing products for the mining industry, graphene can also be used for marine vessels to coat the hulls of ships to prevent drag and corrosion.
The company also has a strong pipeline of other potential graphene applications which it will develop in due course.
From GTS, Sparc will inherit strong industry partnerships and government support through the Australian Research Council’s Research Hub — the Graphene Enabled Industry Transformation Hub — in collaboration with the University of Adelaide.
One of the world’s leading graphene research universities, UA will become a shareholder in Sparc.
Discovery Capital Partners acted as corporate advisor to the transaction.
The capital raising was underpinned by Perth-based technology investor Rod Jones and his Hoperidge Capital.
“We are delighted to support such an exciting emerging technology developer which is aiming to become a key part of the hugely disruptive graphene industry and create a local presence of scale,” Mr Jones said.
“The level of academic, government and industry support we have seen behind these technologies and potential applications is truly impressive and we look forward to being part of the creation of a new global industry with a new base in Australia.”
As part of the acquisition, the former Acacia Coal board, headed by chairman Adam Santa Maria, will retire to welcome a new board of directors.
The new board will be led by executive chairman Stephen Hunt, managing director Tom Spurling, a former CEO of medical device company Ellex Medical Lasers Ltd and non-executive director Daniel Eddington, a financial and equities market specialist.
Sparc will leverage its exclusive licensing, strategic partnership and research agreement with the University of Adelaide and collaboration agreement within the ARC Hub to develop and commercialise graphene-based products and technologies.
The goal is for these technologies to have significant environmental and economic benefits with industrial applications across many sectors.