Rangatira acquires 12 percent stake in magnetic resonance company Magritek

Magritek, which makes magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear magnetic resonance devices, has attracted Wellington-based investment group Rangatira as an investor.

Rangatira has taken a 12 percent stake in the manufacturer and marketer of benchtop NMR and MRI instruments for an undisclosed sum, with the option of increasing to 18 percent in a year’s time with further investment.

MRI uses strong magnets and the resulting interpreted signals to determine the internal properties of objects, including humans. NMR has wider physics and chemistry applications to understand the makeup of rocks, liquids and other products.

Magritek, which had counted the late Paul Callaghan as a fou8nding partner, has targeted the production of smaller machines for application in the petrochemical, education and other markets.

Rangatira’s investment will enable Magritek to significantly increase its offshore sales and marketing effort following the launch of its recently launched US$50,000 – $100,000 ‘Spinsolve’ Benchtop NMR spectrometer, the company said.

“This is going to be the cornerstone of growth for us,” said Magritek chief executive, Andrew Coy. “It lets you measure liquids, look at what’s inside. Spinsolve has met with a very encouraging market response, particularly from chemists in the pharmaceutical, food, polymer, petrochemical and education industries by providing a unique offering in a convenient package at a very competitive price.”

He said the capital injection will allow Magritek, which has doubled its turnover approximately every 18 months, to grow more quickly, including opening a new office in the US.

Rangatira’s chief executive Ian Frame said Magritek’s technology is underpinned and protected by world class intellectual property.

“No other competing company has anything similar,” he said. “Magritek has the fastest, most sensitive, highest resolution NMR in the world. Technically we know it is the best, but sometimes people in New Zealand don’t believe it.”

Europe and the US each account for about 40% of Magritek’s revenues, though the company which has about a third of its staff with PhD’s, is forecasting significant growth in China and India in the near future.

As well as Spinsolve, Magritek produces the Terranova-MRI, the world’s only student-safe MRI teaching system, the Kea compact spectrometer console and the NMR Rock Core Analyser which provides hydrocarbon reservoir core analysis for the oil and gas sector.

“We like to think our investment will enable Magritek to help achieve its founder Sir Paul Callaghan’s vision of creating a niche high-tech sector capable of transforming New Zealand’s culture and economy,” Frame said.


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