Orbital to speed engine development with new investor


Unmanned aerial vehicle engine manufacturer Orbital UAV is to raise $4 million via a placement to a new major investor associated with Coogee Chemicals and existing institutional backers.

The raising, at 0.14 cents which is a 16.7 premium on today’s market price, has attracted as new shareholder the Executive Director of Perth manufacturer Coogee Chemicals, Gordon Martin.

Martin, one of Western Australia’s richest men and is associated with the growth and prosperity of Coogee Chemicals, together with colleagues from Coogee have pledged $3 million to the raising.

Beginning as a small manufacturer of copper sulphate, Martin guided the company to be a major supplier of industrial feedstocks, including chlorine, caustic soda and cyanide from facilities in Kwinana south of Perth and in Queensland.

He joins other investors backing Orbital including Coogee Executive Chairman Tim Martin and Coogee CEO Dr Grant Lukey.

As part of the capital raise Orbital’s largest shareholder UIL Limited will subscribe for $1.0 million in shares, maintaining its current shareholding of 30 percent.

$3.0 million from the raising will go towards funding the development of a larger engine platform, a high-volume low-cost engine as well as further hybrid and power management systems. $1.0 million will go towards general working capital.

Also announced today Todd Adler will step down as Orbital CEO to be replaced by General Manager Operations, Andrew Mills as interim CEO.

Orbital Chairman John Welborn said the company was delighted to welcome Martin to the company’s share register.

Welborn said: “The funds raised will be applied towards achieving Orbital’s desired engine development outcomes and provide appropriate working capital support as we work with our UAV patrners (aiming) to win the large upcoming UAV defence contracts that, if successful, will secure long term production contracts for Orbital UAV.”

Picture: Gordon Martin

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