ASHLAND Unity Aluminum, formerly Braidy Industries, has sold Veloxint on Nov. 9 to a hedge-fund investor, the buyer has confirmed.
Shelia Stewart, Corporate Communications Officer for Clearbrook Global, confirmed Wednesday that Veloxint Inc. was acquired by Veloxint CIF INC, a privately owned company that lists Clearbrook executives as its officers.
As previously reported in The Daily Independent, Unity and Clearbrook have been in talks about a potential sale for $1 million since September. According to a letter sent by Clearbrook Global CEO Elliott Wislar, the buyer of Veloxint would be the Clearbrook Global Multi-Strategy Fund.
In 2018, then-Braidy Industries had acquired Veloxint, a start-up with hopes of taking lighter and stronger metals to the market for tool-making, to the tune of $29 million.
Since the purchase, the company sank $21 million in losses to the subsidiary and were at least a year and a half out of a commercially viable product, per a letter written to investors by Unity CEO Don Foster.
While the details on the sale are murky — as late as Wednesday, a Unity press agent stated she could not talk about the already done deal due to federal and state regulations — an SEC filing related to the transaction shows an initial offering amount of $1,853,500.
It’s hard to say how much of that is cash changing hands between Clearbrook and Unity and how much of it is the cash investors put into the new company following the sale. The Security and Exchange Commission filing shows 14 investors with the new Veloxint.
Back on Sept. 17, Clearbrook announced its Innovation Fund, a new investment vehicle for venture capitalists interested in backing material sciences and tangible technology. The advisor named to head up that fund was John T. Preston, a member of the then-Braidy board of directors.
Unity Aluminum has confirmed Preston is no longer a member of its board of directors.
While Preston has had many successes in business — securing 1,000 patent agreements and licenses for a host of inventions including high-definition television — he also had some interesting litigations in which he has been accused of pulling companies out from underneath business partners’ feet, swindling a Swiss heiress and playing a part in 1990s start-up called Molten Metals that fell apart amid allegations of civil securities fraud.
In an online presser released by Clearbrook, Preston discussed a potential future investment in an MIT-incubated company that specialized in stronger and lighter metals, a description along the lines of what Veloxint proposed to do.
During the presser, Preston said the company could use the technology for automobiles. Wislar chimed in that the company — unnamed at the time — could use its technology with tool companies like Black & Decker. Veloxint in 2017 did announce a development agreement with Black & Decker and Stanley Tools.
Some of the other companies toted during the sales call include Vantem, a wall panel manufacturing company of which Preston sits on the board of directors, and ExThera, a medical company Unity board member Michael Porter joined the board of in late September.
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