Xeros set for £100m AIM listing to fund expansion

Bill Westwater, CEO of Xeros. Picture: Paul David Drabble
Bill Westwater, CEO of Xeros. Picture: Paul David Drabble
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Environmentally friendly cleaning company Xeros is to float on AIM in a £100m listing next month.

The group, a Rotherham-based spin-out from Leeds University, hopes to raise up to £40m by selling a third of the company.

The funds will be used to roll out Xeros’ technology into the commercial laundry market and to fund research and development into other areas such as the domestic laundry sector.

Xeros produces washing machines that replace most of the water with polymer beads.

The polymer beads attract stains to the bead surface. The group has developed its commercial laundry machines using existing conventional washing machine technology, with modifications to introduce the re-usable polymer beads into the wash.

The company is commercialising technology developed at the University of Leeds School of Textiles, run by a team led by textile chemist Professor Stephen Burkinshaw.

Xeros chief executive Bill Westwater said: “Xeros’ technology has the potential to transform a number of industries globally and our planned admission to AIM will help accelerate our roll-out.”

The group has filed a total of 27 patents relating to various aspects of its polymer bead cleaning system.

The patents cover new methods to clean a wide range of textiles, synthetic fibres, plastics, leather, metal, glass, paper, cardboard and wood.

Xeros will initially target the commercial laundry market in the US, the UK, Europe and China.

The first commercial installation of a Xeros washing machine was completed in the UK in July 2011 and in the US in September 2012.

Currently, the group has 30 installed or committed to be installed machines in the US, the UK and the EU and management estimates that a further 120 machine installations are expected for 2014.

Xeros said that trials have shown its system achieves a superior cleaning performance as well as significant reductions in water, energy and chemicals compared with conventional commercial laundry methods.

It claims that its system uses 70 per cent less water than conventional ones and said it can extend the life of garments and provide energy efficiencies that reduce the carbon footprint of the entire laundry process.

Xeros’ partners include the national laundering provider Johnsons Services Group and premium dry cleaners Jeeves of Belgravia.

Xeros has about 30 staff in Rotherham and a small office in the US which employs five people.

“We want to be the global leader in this whole new way of cleaning,” said Mr Westwater.

“We are proudly a Yorkshire company. I also hope that we can be proudly be part of renaissance as well for industries in Yorkshire.”