Abakan Inc. ("Abakan"), an emerging leader in the advanced coatings and metal formulations markets, today announced that it has increased its ownership position in its majority owned subsidiary, MesoCoat Inc. ("MesoCoat"), to a 87.5% direct and 89.9% direct and indirect ownership.
The increase is the result of: a) Abakan converting an additional $6,200,000 that it has invested in MesoCoat to equity; b) Abakan exchanging 21.0% of its 40.5% ownership in Powdermet for 65.3% of Powdermet's shares of MesoCoat; and c) by issuing 2,000,000 restricted shares of Abakan to Powdermet, Abakan intends to acquire those remaining shares of MesoCoat held by Powdermet in exchange for those remaining shares of Powdermet which it holds and the issuance of additional shares of Abakan, to the extent necessary, on receipt of independent business valuations of MesoCoat and Powdermet on or before August 31, 2014.
The price per share of the latest conversion of Abakan's investment in MesoCoat is at a 58% premium to the last price that Abakan converted invested capital to equity.
Abakan's commitment to providing lowest total cost of ownership, long life wear and corrosion solutions, led by its CermaClad™ and PComP™ product platforms, is clearly demonstrated by its decision to focus on near term commercial applications ahead of diverse contract R&D activities.
Mr. Robert Miller, Abakan's CEO, announced that Abakan director, Stephen Goss, will replace Andrew Sherman as CEO of MesoCoat effective immediately. Mr. Goss brings operational discipline and commercial focus, in a shift away from the technology development focus to commercial expansion, which transition will continue to be supported by Mr. Sherman.
Mr. Goss stated "Getting our important products to market is the focus of our immediate efforts at MesoCoat. Our products are necessary to meet the ever expanding demand for downtime reducing cladding and coating materials in connection with corrosion and wear protection for oil and gas activities, mining concerns, metal processing, and eventually infrastructure applications. With our renewed focus on manufacturing scale-up, cost reduction, and quality control, we believe that our disruptive CermaClad™ products will be ready for market in the near term, joining our PComP™ product family that has been accepted in the market and where demand currently outstrips our ability to supply. Our decision to focus on MesoCoat in connection with today's announcement will strengthen our overall operations, which when combined with our world-leading technology should deliver significant results."
This decision to divest our ownership of Powdermet, as disclosed in a February 10, 2014, 8K disclosure, was mutually agreed upon by the Boards of Abakan, MesoCoat and Powdermet, and is an acceleration of the staged acquisition planned on Abakan's initial investment in 2009. The significant downturn in Powdermet's traditional aerospace and defense contracting business, and the need to reinvigorate Powdermet's technology platforms, in order to diversify its client base into new industries in the post-government-sequestration environment caused all parties to rethink their respective timelines. A mutual agreement was reached that Mr. Sherman, the founder, CEO, and technology leader of both MesoCoat and Powdermet was no longer in a position to dedicate the time and effort needed to effectively manage both the commercial deployment of MesoCoat's technologies and Powdermet's transition. Mr. Sherman will remain in a technical role, while Mr. Goss will provide the focus and disciplined management needed for near term profitability and commercial success.
Mr. Sherman stated "I am very excited about MesoCoat's transition to becoming a major commercial provider, which is the realization of my long term vision "to bring the benefits of advanced materials to the world". I fully support Mr. Goss and believe he is exactly what the organization needs at this time. We have an exceptional team, and a look forward to the continued advancement and expansion of MesoCoat's revolutionary nanocomposites and large area cladding product portfolios for years to come."