Quantafuel plunged further in the stock market after a surprise share issue in which main owner BASF did not invest new money. – Unnecessary to increase our ownership of such cooperation, says the German company.
Quantafuel was the biggest loser in the stock market on Monday with a drop of 18.3 percent.
Thus, the share has fallen by about 26 percent since the company, which focuses on the chemical recycling of plastic waste through so-called pyrolysis, announced a private placement of NOK 400 million on Thursday last week.
Many analysts noted, among other things finansavisinThe timing is strange, and it indicates more negative news from the company in the future.
Nordea Markets takes coverage of Quantafoil with Monday’s sales recommendation, and notes, according to TDN Direkt, that the company has repeatedly missed its target in a so-called “proof of concept” at its main facility in Danish Skive.
Last week’s capital increase was carried out without the backing of Quantafuel’s largest shareholder, German chemicals group BASF, which has been a major investor since the fall of 2019.
Jens Fey, BASF’s director of communications, wrote in an email to E24 that Quantafuel technology is a “key piece” in BASF’s project known as “ChemCyling,” which involves using oil from recycled plastic as an input agent in chemical production.
“We look forward to continuing our joint efforts to develop Quantafuel technology further towards the improvement of these raw materials. For such cooperation, it is not necessary to increase our interest in company ownership,” Fay writes.
The best decision in the company’s history
This is the best decision we have made in the history of the company. Quantafuel CEO Kjetil Bøhn said in the fall of 2020, BASF is contributing resources, expertise and networks, and has significant development plans that build on our technology.
He then spoke about the background to BASF’s entry into the ownership side in October 2019, with an investment of €20 million equally divided between equity and a convertible bond loan.
When Quantafuel’s share peaked in the winter of 2021 after an impressive price hike, BASF made a paper profit of more than 1 billion crowns, according to E4 estimates.
– I spoke to people from BASF that day, and they had no idea what the stock price was. Boone told E24 in the interview above that they don’t care about stock gains, they want to build a market.
Since then, the price has collapsed due to ongoing challenges and delays at the Skive plant, and Bøhn has left the company.
Quantafuel’s new chief, Lars Rosenløv, rejects that the new release means another delay to Skive’s “proof of concept”, something the company previously indicated would happen no later than the first quarter.
– There is no change in routing. We experience good production at Skive, and we know what we do works. We’ve diverted 200 tons of plastic waste in the past two weeks, and sent five trucks with the finished product to our partner BASF already in January, compared to six trucks for the whole of 2021, Rosenloff told E24.
He further states that the company is now working on improving and stabilizing the plant, so that production will rise over time.
– What does it mean that BASF has chosen not to participate in this latest issue?
– BASF is a strong and strong supporter and we are very pleased, says Rosenløv.
Still a solid gain
BASF nearly doubled its stake in Quantafuel when it converted its loan into stock last summer, thus climbing to become the largest shareholder at 10.6 percent.
With the current share price just under NOK 21, the Germans are still solidly positive, with a cost price of NOK 14.4 per share.
BASF is represented on Quantafuel’s board of directors by Dr. Maximilian Walter, who is the group’s executive vice president of petrochemical technology.
Quantafuel’s Commercial Director and Deputy Director, Dr. Christian Lasch, of BASF have also been appointed.
“Our goal is to use Quantafuel pyrolysis oil as a raw material in our chemical production, thus contributing to a more circular economy of plastics, while we can offer our customers high performance products from chemically recycled waste plastics on an industrial scale,” Fay writes.
New money from Lego
While BASF refused to spit out more money, another major investor chose to open his portfolio again.
Kirkbi Invest, the investment company of the wealthy family of owners behind Lego Group, is investing NOK 100 million in the issue, which is a quarter of the capital.
Thus, Kirkby’s share has increased from more than nine percent to 10.8 percent, and the Danes take the place as the largest owner of Quantafoil.
The Kirkbi Company is described on its website as the holding and private investment company of LEGO owner Kirk Christiansen, which was “founded to build a sustainable future for family ownership across generations.”
E24 has been in touch with Kirkbi’s press director Daniel Vamosi, who stated that the company did not want to comment on its investment in Quantafuel.
Asks questions about the new facility
The company has stated that most of the proceeds from the issuance will be used to fund a new production facility in Esbjerg, which has an estimated cost of about NOK 700 million.
In an interview with finansavisin Last week, Arctic analyst Ivar Rittervold wondered why this plant was involved in mechanical processing, and whether this was a change of strategy because the chemical process didn’t work.
Our facility in Esbjerg will be a game changer for the plastic waste market in Denmark. We will build a modern plastic waste sorting plant, which will be combined with a chemical recycling plant, says Rosenloff.
At the Esbjerg plant, the plastic will be sorted into pure fractions that can be either sold for mechanical recycling or chemically processed at Quantafuel’s own plants.
– This will give us control over the flow of raw materials and improve the recycling rate of plastic waste, in line with EU and national targets. The facility will contribute strong positive cash flow from the second half of 2023, Rosenloff said.
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