OLED company files for initial public offering

Cambridge Display Technology, a developer of next-generation screens for consumer electronics devices, files for an IPO.

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Cambridge Display Technology, a developer of next-generation screens for consumer electronics devices, has filed for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Cambridge, England-based CDT late last week filed the basic IPO registration paperwork, a Form S-1. The company intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of shares for general corporate uses, such as working capital and expenditures. The company may also use a portion to acquire businesses, technologies or other assets or to repay any debt.

CDT is competing with Eastman Kodak in the market for a next-generation display technology called organic light-emitting diode screens. Because OLEDs don't require a backlight, they consume less power and can result in thinner screens than liquid crystal displays, the current favorite. Materials in an OLED display emit light when an electrical current is applied.

Though analysts expect the market for OLED technology to grow from a multimillion-dollar to a multibillion-dollar industry by the later half of this decade, they don't expect it to unseat LCDs anytime soon. OLED displays currently are used in smaller devices such as cell phones and electric shavers.

About a year ago, CDT closed two of its manufacturing facilities, which resulted in the loss of up to 30 jobs, or about 20 percent of its work force. The company currently has fewer than 120 workers, according to its filing.

The company had been looking for partners to help take its technology from drawing board to commercialization and had corralled Merrill Lynch to present a short list of potential partners.

CDT executives were not immediately available for comment.

In the quarter ended March 31, the company had a loss of $17.7 million, or $1.17 per share, on revenue of $1.3 million. In the same period a year ago, CDT had a loss of $9 million, or 63 cents per share, on revenue of $516,000. For 2003, the company had a loss of $22.8 million, or $1.78 per share, on revenue of $10.7 million, according to the filing.

The company had cash and cash equivalents of $7.8 million. Total assets were estimated at $116.3 million.

CDT has licensed its technology to Seiko-Epson, Philips, Delta Optoelectronics, DuPont Displays, DNP, MicroEmissive Displays and OSRAM.

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