Monday, February 2, 2015

News: Metalysis appoints new chairman

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Metalysis, the Rotherham-based innovator that is commercialising a low-cost way to manufacture titanium and other specialist powder metals, has appointed Douglas Caster CBE, as non-executive chairman.

Metalysis is an investor and grant backed Cambridge University spin out and holds the worldwide exploitation rights to the FCC Cambridge process which sees specialist powder metals created in a simple, cost effective process with significant environmental benefits.

The Manvers company is in the process of commercialising the technology to produce titanium, tantalum, and related high value alloys. These are used increasingly by major worldwide industries such as aerospace, marine, medical, chemical, automotive and electronics.

Previously chief executive, and now chairman of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc (Ultra), Caster replaces Tony Pedder as chairman of Metalysis. During Caster's leadership at Ultra, the business has more than doubled in size through organic and acquisition growth to create a leading FTSE250 aerospace and defence technology company.

Metalysis said that the appointment comes at an important time for the company's commercialisation and development, which will see a significant expansion of its production capacity in the UK, in addition to exporting its technology internationally through licensing agreements and joint ventures. Mr Caster's deep understanding of, and experience in, fast growth businesses in those sectors is expected to provide valuable support to Metalysis' strategy.
Douglas Caster, chairman of Metalysis (pictured), said: "The Metalysis business addresses one of the most significant challenges in the development of specialist metals – how to produce high grade metal powders for mass consumption. It has the know-how and the expertise to bring niche, high-performance metals, such as titanium and tantalum, to many new downstream applications. Furthermore its technology is future proofed and patented, which presents the opportunity to attract wealth and investment as the company expands in South Yorkshire and internationally.

"There is a huge level of excitement around the potential of its transformational technology, which can be applied to various elements of the periodic table."

Dion Vaughan, chief executive of Metalysis, added: "We look forward to working with Douglas as Metalysis commercialises its leading technology. Douglas' appointment as chairman marks a significant step in the rapid evolution of our company. His experience in developing a specialist electronics business into a world leader in its chosen fields, along with his rich history in the metals and engineering sectors, will add substantial value to Metalysis' next stage of growth.

"We thank Tony Pedder for his significant contribution through his advice, knowledge of and contacts within the metals sector, having been CEO of Corus for many years."

Tony Pedder, who temporarily joined the board of Metalysis as non-executive chairman in January 2012 on a short-term basis, returns to his position as non-executive director of Metalysis.

The Metalysis electrochemical reduction process can transform metal oxides, such as ores, directly into metal powders in a single step. Currently focusing on titanium and tantalum, the process uses less energy than traditional processes as it does not require the melting of metals, and the salt used in producing the metals can be recycled.

The process also means that innovative alloys can be tailored to have the desired properties for specific applications. The creation of cheaper metal powders is also expected to drive forward the adoption of 3D printing in specialist metal products.

Last year, Metalysis secured investment of £12.2m from Australian minerals firm, Iluka Resources Limited.

Metalysis website

Images: Metalysis / Ultra plc

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