11 June 2012

OPEL announces board changes; refocus on developing POET technology, and $3m financing

OPEL Technologies Inc of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which makes high-concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) panels and solar tracker systems through its subsidiary OPEL Solar Inc and develops III-V semiconductor devices and processes through US affiliate OPEL Defense Integrated Systems (ODIS Inc) of Shelton, CT, has welcomed Mark Benadiba, Peter Copetti and Dr Sam Peralta to its board of directors.

Benadiba serves on the board of directors of Cott Corp and will serve as executive chairman of OPEL’s board. In late 2008, he was involved in helping Cott shift its strategy to refocus on its core business activities, and he has experience negotiating licensing agreements.

Copetti will serve as an executive board member. He has extensive capital markets and managerial experience and will be focused on rationalizing costs while defining the strategic direction of the firm with regard to its Planar Optoelectronic Technology (POET) semiconductor platform.

Peralta has rejoined the board of directors. After serving on OPEL boards since January 2007, all issues leading to his resignation this February have been resolved, says the firm. Until May he served on the board of Axiom NDT Corp, but stepping down from there allows him time to help renew OPEL’s POET strategy. The firm says that Peralta has broad experience in the high-tech sector, and brings a continuity of technological vision to its reformulated board.

A core component of the firm’s strategy is to continue to develop the POET platform, which enables monolithic fabrication of gallium arsenide (GaAs) integrated circuits containing both electronic and optical elements on a single wafer. The technology has been developed over the past 18 years by chief scientist Dr Geoff Taylor and his team. The firm has 36 patents issued and 14 patents pending in both its PV systems and for its semiconductor POET process.

The firm continues to progress work with a third party in the validation of the technology (following independent validation of a critical component of the POET platform by BAE Systems in June 2011).

Lawrence Kunkel and Tristram Collins have both decided not to stand for re-election to the board in order to pursue other opportunities. To allow for the new directors to join, they have both agreed to step down at this time.

Copetti, Peralta and Benadiba join CEO Leon M. Pierhal and O’Donnell at the board level in an “aggressive effort to drive down costs and maximize returns for all stakeholders”.

  • Benadiba and Copetti have each entered into a consulting agreement wherein they will each be paid $8400 per month for one year with respect to their services as executive chairman and executive director, respectively. They will each be granted 2,500,000 stock options, and Peralta will be granted 500,000 stock options pursuant to the firm’s incentive stock option plan. The options will be exercisable for a period of five years at a price of $0.235 per share. The options vest 25% immediately and 25% every six months thereafter.

Private Placement

OPEL has also announced a financing with IBK Capital Corp, whereby IBK will act as agent (on a best efforts basis) to conduct a private placement offering of up to 13,043,478 units at a price of $0.23 per unit for proceeds of up to $3m. Each unit consists of one common share and one common share purchase warrant (allowing the holder to acquire one common share for a period of three years at an exercise price of $0.35 per share). The private placement has been conditionally accepted by the TSX Venture Exchange. The securities to be issued will be subject to a hold period that expires four months and one day following closing.

A first tranche of $507,690 has been completed, with the remainder of approximately $2.5m to be closed on or before 30 July. OPEL will pay a cash commission of 7% of the funds raised and 10% of the units sold in the form of broker warrants (each allowing the holder to acquire one common share at a price of $0.23 for 48 months after the closing date).

See related items:

ODIS progresses towards roadmap for GaAs-based POET technology

Tags: OPEL Technologies POET GaAs ICs

Visit: www.opeltechinc.com

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