Friday, March 27, 2009

Dr Know on Plurion


A Report on Plurion et al
Doctor Know

Dear Tony,

Your blog has, at various times, featured news about Plurion Systems Ltd. So here, should you be interested, is some sort of update.

At the end of 2007, ITI Scotland disposed of its interest in Plurion, which was bought back by AIC (Applied Intellectual Capital), the company (more or less) which sold it to ITI back in 2005. ITI's judgement, one must assume, is that it saw no viable future for this technology. AIC itself, an AIM stockmarket quoted company, issued fresh shares in July 2008.

These lost some 90% of their value within weeks. AIC then suffered a calamitous fall in share price. At the end, shares which had peaked around £3 were trading at 0.5 pence. At this point (Feb. 2009), AIC de-listed from the AIM stockmarket. It was also at this time that we learned that although AIC had bought Plurion back from ITI, they hadn't in fact paid for it. ITI allowed first one, then a second deferral of payment. The latest due date is understood to be 1 July 2009.

A senior Plurion executive who posted on your blog, promised that major hardware would be delivered to customer "in Q4/08 or Q1/09". There is no indication that this promise was met. AIC continue to issue warm words to the effect that the problems (whatever they were) are being solved, and state that they will be "pursuing new investors".

No actual technical information on Plurion technology appears to have been released since 2002. As far as we know, everyone who invested in Plurion or AIC has made very substantial losses. These facts, as well as a copy of the company's latest accounts, are available in various Reuters News Service announcements, on behalf of the London Stock Exchange

The AIC Redox Biofuels project (electrochemical oxidation of biomass) hasn't done much better. Much was made of their forming a partnership with Mitsubishi. In recent months, it was quietly announced that Mitsubishi have pulled out - presumably because, like ITI Scotland, they formed their own unfavourable assessment.

The third "energy" project in the AIC portfolio is BLAB - Bipolar Lead Acid Battery, now apparently being configured in 42V form for electric bicycles with a possible Chinese partner. No technical information has been released on this project either, but patent lawyers are known to be studying the AIC patents closely. It is hard to see how these can be reconciled with the earlier Atraverda patents in the same field - the two are very similar but the Atraverda ones have priority.

One doesn't enjoy taking a negative stance and you and your excellent blog have taken a fair amount of flak for your honest approach. Sadly, the pessimistic predictions regarding Plurion, including those by myself, have pretty much been fulfilled. One can only hope that not too many fresh investors will be induced to part with their money to these most ambitious but notably unsuccessful entrepreneurs.

With kind regards

"Dr Know"

(Many thanks to Dr. Know for this update. Dr. Know, who's full details are known to me, has contributed to this blog several times. He wishes to remain anonymous and I fully respect this wish.)


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