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NanoHolding, Applied Nanotech merge to form PEN Inc.

By: Frank Esposito

August 21, 2014

Nanotechnology firms NanoHolding Inc. and Applied Nanotech Holdings Inc. are merging to create PEN Inc., a publicly held firm whose product mix will include plastic-based nanocomposites and films.

A majority of shareholders in Austin, Texas-based Applied Nanotech already have approved the merger, officials said in an Aug. 15 news release. The official vote will take place Aug. 22 at a shareholders’ meeting in Dallas.

“It’s clear that [Applied Nanotech] shareholders see the growth potential of the combination,” Chairman Robert Ronstadt said in the release.

NanoHolding is the parent company of Valley View, Ohio-based Nanofilm Ltd. Nanofilm CEO Scott Rickert will serve as CEO of newly created PEN.

“My vision for PEN is to bring to the commercial marketplace advanced-performance products enabled by nanotechnology,” Rickert said. “Applied Nanotech, like Nanofilm, has exciting intellectual property, and I believe everyone on both teams is excited to roll up their sleeves and get to work right now.”

Rickert co-founded Nanofilm Ltd. in 1985 while a professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. The firm makes film products for the optical, automotive, marine, electronics and household markets. Most of Nanofilm’s firm's products are based on polyolefins, but epoxy, acrylic and polyurethane resins are used as well.

In March, Nanofilm debuted a nano-based liquid treatment for eyewear that cleans the surface, kills bacteria on contact, and retains the bactericidal property for up to five days. The spray-and-wipe formula is effective on frames, lenses and nosepads.

Applied Nanotech has used its CNT-brand composites to strengthen nylon and epoxy resins. The firm also makes nano-based films, pastes and inks.

In 2013, Applied Nanotech posted sales of $3.9 million — up from $3.6 million in 2012, but well off the firm’s $8 million sales total of 2010. Applied Nanotech posted a loss of $3.1 million in 2013 and has lost almost $11 million in total from 2011-13. The firm’s per-share stock price was at 8 cents in over-the-counter trading on Aug. 21.