Drug testing firm Cyprotex eyes deals after raising 7 mln pounds
LONDON Aug 7 (Reuters) - British drugs testing company Cyprotex said it was poised to pounce on the next available opportunity to expand after raising around 7 million pounds ($10.8 million) in debt and convertible notes.
The company also on Wednesday reported a jump in first-half underlying earnings to 703,000 pounds ($1.1 million) from 89,000 a year ago, and its shares rose 15 percent to 6.88 pence at 1140 GMT.
"We lost an absolutely cracking opportunity earlier this year for want of a few million pounds," Chief Executive Anthony Baxter said on Wednesday.
"These opportunities don't always come to fruition, so you have to keep several of them on the go in the hope that you land one or two, and that's what we are currently doing."
Baxter said the company was seeing strong demand from medium-sized pharmaceutical companies, which use its services to test drugs before they start expensive clinical trials.
He said the money would be used to expand its facilities in Macclesfield, northern England and Watertown, Massachusetts as well as to make acquisitions, possibly in areas of testing such as household chemicals or in regions such as California.
Analysts at N+1 Singer said Cyprotex's "solid results" indicated that its strategy of widening its services was paying off.
The funds are being raised via a combination of an open offer of loan notes convertible into equity and a placing of non-convertible loan notes, underwritten by its investor Harwood Capital.
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