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IBC to expand alloy output with $2M offering

Keywords: Tags  IBC Advanced Alloys, beryllium aluminum, copper, Simon Anderson, military, drones, Suzy Waite

NEW YORK — IBC Advanced Alloys Corp. will expand its beryllium aluminum alloy production by year-end and plans to finance the investment through a company stock offering, chief financial officer Simon Anderson told AMM.

Beryllium aluminum—one of the Vancouver, British Columbia-based producer’s specialty alloys—is often used in military applications. The military has been focusing on retrofitting older airplanes and remotely piloted aircraft, or drones, prompting IBC to plan an investment in its beryllium aluminum production.

IBC announced Jan. 29 that it will offer up to 16.7 million units of company stock at 12 cents per share, with the aim of raising $2 million.

The company plans to invest some of the money to upgrade the furnace at its Wilmington, Mass., operation, and will expand beryllium aluminum production in the next 12 months, Anderson said. He declined to offer specific capacity numbers.

"Even though military spending is cutting back, (they are) making performance advances and retrofitting older planes with new targeting systems," Anderson said. "(Personal computer) sales may have gone down, but iPad sales are up. People are substituting their clunky PCs with a portable iPad. It’s the same thing in the military right now."

Beryllium is very useful in radar and targeting applications as it dampens vibrations, Anderson said. "When (you’re using) radar or need a visual, you don’t want vibrations. People have found (that) over time, beryllium is an excellent material for these applications," he said.

While the military will be an important end-consumer for IBC’s beryllium aluminum production in the near future, IBC is anticipating growth in other areas, including the commercial aerospace sector.

"The thing about commercial airlines, they are justifiably conservative about adopting new methods," Anderson said. "We certainly have our sights set on the commercial sector but acknowledge it’s a much longer path."

The company also operates a copper alloy facility in Franklin, Ind. "The copper side of our business is stable and generates positive cash flow all the time. It doesn’t need financing (now)," he said.

IBC also serves the nuclear power, automotive, oil and gas, and electronics end-markets.

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