Quantum dots maker Nanoco says in early talks for a sale

(Reuters) - British nanotechnology company Nanoco Group Plc NANON.L said on Tuesday it was in early discussions over a potential sale, as it tries to recover from the loss of a major contract this year that led to a sharp selloff in its shares.

The Manchester-based firm, which makes quantum dots used in vibrant, high-quality displays, grew its revenue this year as it earned from contracts, but its shares are down about 60% this year after losing a contract in the United States, which accounts for a bulk of its revenue.

The London-listed company said it had appointed Evercore as its financial adviser to kickstart the formal sale process. It did not name the parties it was in talks with.

The company’s shares were seen rising 10% on the London Stock Exchange, according to premarket indicators.

Nanoco, spun out of the University of Manchester in 2001, specialises in quantum dots, which are semiconductor crystals 10,000 times finer than a human hair. They convert electrical energy into light and can be manipulated to produce precise colours, and are mostly used in televisions.

The company had a market valuation of 43.1 million pounds ($55.58 million) as of Monday’s closing stock price of 15 pence, far from its high of 205 pence in 2005.

Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty