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The Business: IMA Ltd was incorporated over 26 years ago with a focus on using third parties’ equipment to engineer analysis solutions to the oil and gas industry. About six years ago National Grid approached IMA Ltd requesting a solution to a specific problem they had of detecting liquid contaminants in gas pipelines.
The Challenge: There were a very specific list of requirements and no existing solution to this problem could be found, so IMA Ltd took the decision to develop their own. VitalSix was subsequently approached to help support with funding required to finance this ongoing project.
Support Delivered: Preparing IMA for investment readiness by a thorough review of the business plan and financial forecast led to an introduction to, and successful application for, a £200k M3LEP loan, with matched funding for a further £200k from the Sustainability Fund. VitalSix also assisted with applications for successful Smart and Innovate UK awards. With the development phase nearing completion and industry certification applied for, IMA turned their attention to funding the role out of their new products to this global market.
As the new business of manufacturing and selling of their own detection products, which had been called Process Vision, was different to their previous role of distributing other manufactures products, IMA achieve HMRC clearance to demerge this business into a separate limited company with initially identical share ownership. This was achieved by way of a distribution to IMA’s shareholders of the Process Vision business and intangible assets, This highly complex ‘dividend in specie’ process was managed and supported by VitalSix, following which we assisted the new company, Process Vision Ltd, to apply for and obtain SEIS/EIS advanced assurances. VitalSix also supported the preparation and development of new business and financial plans for this new venture and introduced this new investment ready company to investor networks Oion, London Business Angels, Henley Business Angels and Capital for Business. As of November 2017 this activity raised just under £500k with a closure imminent on a further £1m.
Future Plans: VitalSix financial specialist Stephen Foale, continues to work with IMA Ltd and Process Vision as their part time CFO and Company Secretary and continues to assist with strategic management decisions
Process Vison have been awarded a £850k Innovate UK project to develop a significant enhancement to their primary product, working in collaboration with the University of Reading’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership, together with some input from Williams F1.
Process Vison will also be setting up a wholly owned subsidiary in Houston Texas, Process Vison Inc, to address the USA, which will be the largest market for this new product range.
Paul Stockwell, MD of Process Vision Ltd and IMA Ltd said ”VitalSix have depth of knowledge and contacts in a number of different fields has been invaluable for us. The strategic advice and the tools they provide have helped us create one of the most rapidly growing companies in the UK. It has been a very positive relationship from day 1.”