Micromedical's one-day fundraising spree

By Tanya Hollis
Friday, 08 March, 2002

Artificial heart company MicroMedical Industries raised almost $11 million in just over 24 hours through a share placement directed at new investors.

The Sydney-based company raised the money in a placement of 13.7 million ordinary shares at 80c each - a 6c discount to the market price when trading halted about 3pm Wednesday.

CEO Michael Spooner said the placement represented 10 per cent of the company's issued capital, with the cash earmarked to carry its VentrAssist artificial heart into clinical trials.

Spooner said the human placement trials had already commenced at Melbourne's Alfred Hospital.

"It is an international clinical trial process and we expect the first implant in humans in Australia this year," he said.

"We will then have a concurrent stream of implants in Australia and in the US."

In addition to the share placement for new investors, MicroMedical also announced today a Share Purchase Plan for it 9000 existing investors, giving them the option of buying up to $3000 worth of shares at the placement price of 80c.

"We feel it is a good offer to our existing shareholders who have been so supportive of us to participate in our continued success," Spooner said.

The SPP was subject to shareholder approval, he said.

At the time of writing, MicroMedical shares were at 91c after resuming trading this morning, setting the company's market capitalisation at just under $125 million.

It is estimated that the global market for left ventricular heart devices, such as the VentrAssist is in the order of $US7 billion to $US12.5 billion annually, with about 800,000 people suffering congestive heart failure and less than 4000 receiving heart transplants each year.

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