Versarien sells Korean graphene plant and licenses patents to MCK Tech

LONDON, UK: Versarien Plc, the advanced materials engineering group, has announced that it has sold its plant and equipment in South Korea, which were used for producing graphene, to MCK Tech Co. Ltd for £604,000.

The deal also includes an exclusive licence agreement for MCK Tech to use five of Versarien’s patents in Korea for a period of five years, with a royalty fee of 4.5% of the sales revenue generated from the patented products.

The sale of the Korean plant and the licence agreement are part of Versarien’s turnaround strategy, which aims to dispose of non-core businesses and assets and focus on its core graphene and nanomaterials technologies. The company acquired the Korean plant from Hanwha Aerospace in 2020, but it was not profitable and had a gross asset value of £844,151 as of March 2023. Versarien is also looking to sell its mature businesses, AAC Cyroma Limited and Total Carbide Limited, and is in talks with several potential buyers.

The net proceeds of the transaction will be used for Versarien’s corporate and working capital purposes. The company is also seeking additional funding solutions to support its turnaround strategy. Versarien’s CEO, Neill Ricketts, said: “We are pleased to have completed this transaction with MCK Tech, which allows us to monetise our intellectual property and reduce our operating costs in Korea. We believe that MCK Tech is well positioned to exploit the potential of our graphene technology in the Korean market, and we look forward to a long-term partnership with them.”

Dr Stephen Hodge, CEO of Versarien, commented: “As previously outlined, Versarien’s strategy is to be a manufacturing-light business in the UK and licence our patents, know-how and other intellectual property to key partners.  In line with this strategy we are pleased that we have secured the sale of the Korean CVD graphene production equipment and licenced five patents to MCK Tech.  MCK Tech is a well-respected company that has developed graphene-based sensors for healthcare. 

MCK’s CEO, Dr Seungmin Cho, is one of the pioneers of CVD graphene in Korea, formerly working as Group Leader at Samsung Techwin and Hanwha Aerospace, prior to founding MCK Tech in 2017, a joint venture with the Centre for Advanced Meta-Materials (CAMM) in Daejeon.  We look forward to maintaining access to CVD graphene materials and supporting MCK Tech through collaborative efforts.”

Dr Seungmin Cho, CEO of MCK Tech, commented: “Acquiring the CVD graphene production equipment is a strategic move to vertically integrate CVD graphene manufacturing and developing applications.  Securing the assets and licensing the IP will help us to become a more dependable materials supplier for our valued customers and enable us to shorten the application development cycle to provide new CVD graphene applications covering the IT, military, and healthcare industries. 

As we are acquiring the heritage of Samsung Techwin and Hanwha Aerospace, we are building on their pioneering work to consolidate our position in the graphene industry.  Most of all, MCK Tech is pleased to establish a firm relationship with Versarien, a renowned graphene company, and is looking forward to collaborating in commercialising CVD graphene as well as graphene flakes in the years to come.”

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