October 26--Southampton-based fiber lasers group SPI Lasers posted early gains after its listing on London's AIM following a ?12m fundraising exercise.
SPI, founded in 2000 on technology developed by the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre, placed more than 8m new shares at 144p, valuing the business at ?25.5m.
Part of the proceeds raised from the placing will be used to increase sales and applications resources to enable expansion, it said.
Some of the extra funds are also being earmarked for use in developing higher power lasers for applications within its existing markets and to fund working capital requirements and debt repayments.
According to a recent report, the laser market is expected to be worth around $2.8bn by 2008 against a current value of some $2.3bn, while fiber lasers are seen hitting $500m from $100m.
President and chief executive David Parker said, "This listing makes both strategic and commercial sense as we take SPI Lasers to the next stage of the company's development and we look forward to working with our new shareholders."