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Next’s busy fall: New debt funding, new India buyer, new CEO

Next’s busy fall: New debt funding, new India buyer, new CEO

Sensor maker Next Biometrics says it has raised gross proceeds of NOK 60 million in a private placement – debt financing – intended to enliven its operations and prepare for expected new orders.

The Sweden firm makes large-format, slim fingerprint sensors. Next shares on the Oslo Bors hovered on the news, trading slightly up in historically light volumes.

There are formalities yet to be resolved, but the company’s board has allocated 12 million shares at NOK 5 (US$0.47) per share. Net proceeds will be less than NOK 60 million ($5.6 million).

In a statement carried by stock news publisher MarketScreener, executives said the placement will “ensure healthy balance sheet and meet working capital requirements due to substantial orders.”

Earlier this month, they announced that they had signed a multi-year FAP20 sensor order valued at NOK 15 million ($1.4 million) with an unnamed new customer in India. The debt is expected to help Next get the first shipments out in the second quarter of 2024.

Also this month, Next signed a contract valued at NOK 18 million ($1.6 million) for FAP sensors. The buyer was identified as XM Holder, a Chinese electronics distributor. Next signed a sensor sales contract with XM in August 2022.

Ulf Ritsvall, senior VP of sales and marketing, said the sensor has been approved for integration with India’s Aadhaar program. Security requirements for Aadhaar systems have been strengthened, requiring relevant vendors to meet the program’s so-called L1 certification.

Ritsvall takes over as Next CEO October 1.

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