Juha Kokkonen, CEO of Canatu

© Canatu

Canatu to become public

On 5 July, Lifeline SPAC I Plc and the shareholders of Canatu Oy have concluded a share exchange agreement whereby Lifeline SPAC I acquires all shares, option rights, and other rights exchangeable to shares in Canatu to form a combined, publicly listed company. The completion is subject to its approval in the Lifeline SPAC I’s Extraordinary General Meeting. After the completion, the combined company will be renamed Canatu Plc (in Finnish Canatu Oyj) and headquartered in Vantaa, Finland. The company will apply to list its shares on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market Finland marketplace, with the listing expected in September 2024.

Canatu is a deep technology company developing advanced carbon nanotubes (Canatu CNTs) and related products and manufacturing equipment for the semiconductor, automotive, and medical diagnostics industries. These industries require extremely high-quality CNTs and offer strong growth and profitability potential. Canatu’s versatile platform technology has broad potential applications. Its current core includes CNT membranes for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography in semiconductor and film heaters for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in automotive. Additionally, biosensors for medical diagnostics are in the development phase.

Rapid growth

Canatu is experiencing rapid growth, with a compound annual growth rate of 107.9 per cent from 2020 to 2023. The Finnish company anticipates continued growth in 2024, forecasting its net turnover for the 2024 financial year to range between EUR 20 million and EUR 25 million. The new combined company targets a revenue of over EUR 100 million and an EBIT margin (adjusted for goodwill amortisations) of over 30 per cent in 2027.

Lifeline SPAC I is a Finnish Special Purpose Acquisition Company founded for corporate acquisitions. It raised gross proceeds of EUR 100 million in its initial public offering in October 2021. Lifeline SPAC I’s strategy primarily consists of recognising an unlisted company with high growth potential in the technology sector and merging with it. After assessing a large pool of potential acquisition targets, Lifeline SPAC I has concluded that Canatu materially conforms to the investment criteria and selected it as the target company.

Timo Ahopelto, Chair of Lifeline SPAC I’s Board of Directors, comments: “We have analysed tens of Nordic technology growth companies for Lifeline SPAC I. Canatu is the perfect match. The capital provided can make the Company grow even faster and become stronger.”

Tuomo Vähäpassi, founding partner and CEO of Lifeline SPAC I, comments: “Canatu has extensive potential in advanced CNT applications. We have followed Canatu’s development for some time and are delighted to combine with it at a stage where it aims to accelerate its business in semiconductor and automotive applications and is entering the emerging medical diagnostics market. We are impressed by Canatu’s technological competencies, which stem from the long heritage of Finnish research in nanomaterials, its experienced management, and its attractive financial profile, all of which lay a strong foundation to create value for our current and new shareholders.”

A leader in advanced carbon nanotubes

Ari Ahola, Chair of Canatu’s Board of Directors, comments: “As the first investor in Canatu, I have watched firsthand its incredible growth over the last 17 years to become a leader in the advanced carbon nanotubes space. This is a major milestone in the Canatu story, and I believe it will empower the company to drive tomorrow’s industry-transforming products forward. Canatu’s robust and versatile technology platform and continuous innovation enable exciting new business opportunities, such as biosensors for medical diagnostics.”

Juha Kokkonen, CEO of Canatu, emphasises: “Canatu has grown rapidly in recent years with significant breakthroughs, especially in the EUV technology within the semiconductor industry. The Combination and collaboration will help accelerate our growth in line with our strategy, enabling us to continue progressing in all three exciting focus industries – semiconductor, automotive, and medical diagnostics – all of which are experiencing a major disruption and expand into new ones in the future. This is enabled by our patented technology, which allows us to apply Canatu CNT to a broad range of applications. Canatu is well-positioned to support industry shifts with its forerunner partners and to capitalize on new market opportunities, with the potential for significant returns on invested capital.”


Caption: Juha Kokkonen, CEO of Canatu

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