‘Waterless’ washing machine group raising £40m for expansion

The group, which floated on London’s Aim market in March 2014 when it raised £27.6m, said the funds will help it maintain momentum as it rolls out its commercial laundry business in the Americas and Europe.

The Guardian reports that thursday’s cash call comes just eight weeks after the appointment of chief executive, Mark Nichols.

Xeros uses a bead system, which reduces the use of water, energy and chemicals in processes such as washing and clothing manufacturing. The system first emerged from research at the University of Leeds when Stephen Burkinshaw, a chemist at the university, found that certain plastics absorbed stains on clothes.

The group’s loss after tax rose from £6.4m to £10.2m, in line with expectations as it continued to invest in new technology as well as the roll-out of the laundry business.

The US-owned City adviser Jefferies will be placing £40m of shares so long as shareholders back the deal at the end of the month. Invesco, which owns a 26.9 per cent stake in the group, is subscribing for enough new shares to maintain its holding.

Two other large investors are supporting the share issue: IP Group, which is putting in £4.7m, and Neil Woodford, the fund manager, whose fund will be maintaining an 8 per cent stake.

Xeros wants to exploit its polymer bead technologies across a number of industrial and domestic markets that face the challenges of water scarcity, environmental concerns and the cost of energy.