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Potential £100m flotation for maker of washing machine that uses beads

 
Xeros Washing Machine

The Xeros washing machine looks like a standard machine such as this one, but washes clothes with reusable plastic beads that absorb dirt. Photograph: Hympi/Alamy

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Potential £100m flotation for maker of washing machine that uses beads” was written by Zoe Wood, for theguardian.com on Friday 21st February 2014 13.27 UTC

Just as inventor James Dyson revolutionised our chores with hi-tech hoovers and fans, a new company is set to change the way we wash our clothes, with a pioneering washing machine that uses tiny plastic beads rather than gallons of water to rinse clothes clean.

Sheffield-based Xeros has announced plans for a potential £100m stock market listing that could bring its pioneering technology to the mass market. Developed by Stephen Burkinshaw, a chemist at Leeds University, the appliance is aimed at commercial laundries, but the company has already developed a prototype for domestic use and is looking to sign a deal with a major manufacturer. Both Burkinshaw and Leeds University are shareholders in the company.

The Xeros washing machine looks like a standard washing machine but washes clothes using thousands of reusable plastic beads, along with water and soap. The beads absorb dirt, resulting in an environmentally friendly wash that uses far less water and detergent.

Run by chief executive Bill Westwater, whose career includes stints at consumer goods giant P&G and oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, the technology company is thought to be raising between £30m-£40m from the sale of new shares. The fundraising will potentially translate into a market value of up to £100m when it joins the junior AIM market in March.

“Xeros’s reusable and recyclable polymer bead cleaning systems offer an attractive customer proposition combining cost savings, efficiencies and superior cleaning performance,” said Westwater. “I am delighted that our major shareholders are highly supportive of our proposed listing and associated fundraising.”

The company has already raised more than £15m. Existing investors include fund manager Invesco Perpetual and IP Group, which specialises in backing inventions developed in universities.

 

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