CALGARY, May 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - The Westaim Corporation today updated shareholders regarding its consideration of strategic alternatives. Previously, the Company announced that it was taking steps to reduce operating costs, dispose of non-core assets and consider strategic alternatives.
As previously announced, Westaim has discontinued the development plan of its iFire Technology subsidiary in the face of increasing technological barriers to entry and steep price reductions with the incumbent technologies in the flat panel television market. While iFire made progress on certain aspects of its development plan, overall progress was slower than expected and consequently the product development timeline extended past the timeframe originally anticipated. In addition, iFire lacked the resources required to complete the development work necessary for commercialization.
Over the past six months Westaim contacted prospective purchasers to solicit interest in purchasing iFire. To date, no expressions of interest in acquiring iFire en bloc have been received. Consequently, the Company has turned its attention to seeking buyers for the assets of iFire and expects to substantially complete the sale of such assets by the end of 2008 for proceeds that will likely range between $3 and $7 million.
Westaim owns approximately 74.5 per cent of the outstanding common shares of Nucryst. Westaim is reviewing alternatives for its investment in Nucryst, including the sale of its Nucryst shares to a third party, the distribution of its Nucryst shares to shareholders of the Company or the investment of the Company's remaining liquid assets in Nucryst.
The longer term options for Westaim include the possibility of identifying a new business opportunity or entering into a reverse take over transaction whereby a private company would become publicly traded through the acquisition of such company by Westaim for consideration comprised of common shares of Westaim. The Company has begun to receive, from third parties, expressions of interest in pursuing such transactions. However, there can be no certainty that these expressions of interest will result in the completion of a transaction. Any such transaction cannot be finalized until matters respecting iFire and Nucryst are further clarified and would be subject to approval of the shareholders of Westaim.
The Westaim Corporation's investments include iFire Technology Ltd., and a 74.5 per cent interest in NUCRYST Pharmaceuticals Corp. . Westaim's common shares are listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol WED.
This news release contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and Westaim can give no assurance that these expectations are correct. Various factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in such statements, including but not limited to statements regarding increasing technological barriers to market entry for iFire's technology and steep price reductions with the incumbent technologies in the flat panel television market, expectations regarding the timing for substantial completion of sales of assets and likely proceeds from any such sales, the possibility of identifying a new business opportunity or entering into a reverse take over transaction, the completion of any transaction, and approval of any transaction by the shareholders of Westaim. Westaim disclaims any intention or obligation to revise forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and should not rely on this information at any date other than the date of this news release. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.
CONTACT: David Wills, Investor Relations, (416) 504-8464, firstname.lastname@example.org