WideCells Group PLC (LON:WDC), the healthcare services company focused on providing stem cell services and ground breaking insurance for stem cell treatment, is pleased to announce that it has raised gross proceeds of £648,696 by way of a private placing (the ‘Placing’).
Use of Proceeds
WideCells is focused on becoming a leading provider of services which make stem cell treatment affordable and accessible to families around the world. With the Placing proceeds now raised, the Company is positioned to execute on a range of additional opportunities it has identified since listing in July 2016 to rapidly accelerate the roll out of its three stem cell services divisions, CellPlan, WideCells and WideAcademy, and further its penetration of this growing market. With this in mind, in order to streamline and enhance its operations, a portion of the funds will be used to develop a Client Relationship Management (‘CRM’) System for use across all three of its divisions. In addition to this the funds will be used as follows:
The demand for the Company’s first-of-its-kind stem cell insurance product, CellPlan, is ahead of management expectations. Therefore, the Company plans to optimise its e-commerce platform which will facilitate its geographic expansion and support the progression of numerous campaigns simultaneously. The CellPlan Excel Membership Programme, the Company’s quality assessment programme, has received applications from numerous cord blood banks in respect to offering CellPlan to their clients. The applications have been received from companies located across multiple continents which together store over 175,000 stem cell samples. In line with the Company’s focus on partnering with ‘best-in-class’ facilities, the Company is currently conducting quality assessments to evaluate the eligibility of each cord blood bank that have either signed a Letter of Intent or have submitted their CellPlan Excel Application Forms to CellPlan.
The Company’s first stem cell storage facility, the Institute of Stem Cell Technology at the University of Manchester Innovation Centre (‘UMIC’), remains on track to become operational in Q2 2017. As highlighted in the announcement dated 30 November 2016, WideCells has been appointed to undertake contract research at the facility and on investigation, the Board has identified that this represents an additional strong market opportunity. Therefore the Company has applied for a research licence. With this in mind, ~£150,000 will be used to rent additional administrative office space at the UMIC and to optimise its Quality Management System in order to capitalise upon this and drive additional revenues.
A portion of the funds raised will support the new initiatives developed by Alan Greenberg, the Former Director of Education at Apple, who recently joined the Company as Non-Executive Director and Vice President of WideAcademy. WideAcademy is focused on becoming a thought leader in stem cell technology and accordingly the Company aims to galvanise Mr. Greenberg’s excellent digital experience and network to establish itself as a high-profile resource for both healthcare professionals and families alike. It aims to achieve this goal by establishing collaborations with leading multinational technology companies and reputed educational institutions and developing a mobile App which can deliver and distribute high quality and trustworthy information about this cutting edge and innovative industry. The funds will also contribute towards the appointment of key personnel to support the implementation of these new initiatives. Previous to Alan’s appointment, the Company developed a syllabus of short courses for professionals alongside the University of Westminster. WideCells will make a further announcement on its strategy and key developments in relation to this, in due course.
WideCells Group CEO, João Andrade, said, WideCells is focused on becoming a leading provider of stem cell services globally, and these funds will enable us to drive a range of new initiatives which have been identified by our world-class Board since listing to expedite our market penetration and establish new revenue streams. These are additional to the opportunities which were outlined in our prospectus, which are on track to deliver cash flow in H2 2017, demonstrating the strength of the opportunity which lies within this exciting and growing market. Positively, the Board’s participation in the Placing aligns them closely with our shareholder base and incentivises them to successfully execute on these new plans.
The funds will be split across all three of our unique business divisions. CellPlan is receiving a fantastic reception and the level of interest from storage facilities is beyond our original expectations. In terms of WideCells, thanks to a contract to conduct research at our Institute of Stem Cell Technology, we are already generating revenues ahead of our original plans. Therefore, we have allocated some funds to capitalise and grow our presence in this market. Finally, Alan Greenberg has presented us with an opportunity to establish WideAcademy as a go-to digital resource for healthcare professionals and families who want to find out more about the US$100 billion stem cell industry. We plan to build an App, and collaborate with leading digital influencers who share our vision of making the cutting edge more accessible. I hope investors share in our excitement for the coming months. I look forward to providing updates regularly as we focus on creating a global company with multiple revenue streams.
The Placing has raised gross proceeds of £648,696 by the issue of 5,405,806 new ordinary shares of £0.0025 each in the share capital of the Company (the ‘Placing Shares’) to new and existing shareholders and Directors of the Company, at a price of 12 pence per Placing Share (the ‘Placing Price’), conditional only on Admission (as defined below).
Applications have been made for admission of the Placing Shares to listing on the Standard segment of the Official List of the UK Listing Authority and to trading on the Main Market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange plc (‘Admission’). Admission is expected to take place on 28 April 2017.
The Placing Shares will rank pari passu in all respects with the existing ordinary shares in the share capital of the Company (including as to the right to receive dividends (and other distributions, if any) declared, made or paid by the Company after the date of issue of the Placing Shares).
Directors’ participation in the Placing
Details of the directors’ participation in the Placing are set out below:
|Director||Number of Placing Shares subscribed for||Price per Placing Share||Number of shares held following the issue of the Placing Shares||Shareholding following the issue of the Placing Shares|
|João Andrade||20,000.00||Placing Price||8,040,000||13.5%|
|David Bridgland||80,000.00||Placing Price||332,552||0.6%|
|Lopes Gil||15,000.00||Placing Price||8,035,000||13.5%|
|Graham Hine||40,000.00||Placing Price||3,238,698||5.4%|
|Marilyn Orcharton||15,000.00||Placing Price||150,952||0.3%|