Altair To Form Life Sciences Division and Spin Off Mineral Recovery - News Item

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc., a company engaged in developing nanomaterials, titanium dioxide pigment technology, and manufacturing technologies for unique nanostructures, announced four additional steps in its restructuring program:

  • The decision to form a new life sciences division alongside its existing nanomaterials division as part of its initiative to focus on specific vertical markets.
  • The decision to spin off its mineral assets to its shareholders.
  • The resignation of Altair Chief Executive Officer Dr. William P. Long
  • The appointment of Dr. Rudi E. Moerck to senior executive officer upon Dr. Longs resignation.

The new life sciences division will focus on the continued development of pharmaceutical delivery structures (TiNano Spheres™), dental materials and new nano-based pharmaceuticals including Altair’s lead drug candidate, RenaZorb™. “We realized that with the diversity of our markets, we will better direct our development, sales, marketing and out-licensing efforts by organizing these various markets into two divisions led by industry-specific management,” said Altair President Dr. Rudi E. Moerck. “Altair will immediately implement a search for a senior vice president for the new life sciences division.”

The Altair nanomaterials division will focus on materials science and on markets such as TiO2 pigment, TiO2 electrodes for titanium metal, nano-structured materials for lithium ion batteries and fuel cells, along with NanoCheck™ for the prevention of algae growth. The division will continue under the direction of Senior Vice President Douglas K. Ellsworth.

Altair plans to distribute (or spin off) to its shareholders the capital stock of a subsidiary holding the assets of the current Mineral Recovery Systems (MRS) division. Altair intends to solicit shareholder approval for the spin off and complete the filings necessary to make MRS a reporting company. MRS will hold the rights to the exploration-stage mineral deposit in Camden, Tennessee, the ownership of the Altair centrifugal jig and related intellectual property for agglomeration of titanium dioxide.

Dr. William P. Long will resign his position as Chief Executive Officer and member of Altair’s board of directors as of May 1, 2004. Dr. Long is expected to serve as the President of MRS and, during the period preceding his resignation, will focus most of his efforts on structuring and effecting the spin off of MRS. “It has been my pleasure to serve as Altair’s CEO,” said Dr. Long. “Our strategic focus and long-term revenue objectives are best served by this new division of labor, and I look forward to driving the success and growth of MRS.”

Upon Dr. Long’s resignation, Dr. Rudi E. Moerck, President of Altair, will become Altair’s senior executive officer and will continue to be responsible for day-to-day operations of the company and for implementing its strategic plan. “We are indebted to Dr. Long for his leadership of the company, particularly for his insight in structuring the transactions necessary for Altair to acquire its nanomaterial and titanium processing technology,” said Dr. Moerck.

The company intends to commence a search for a new non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors to work with Dr. Moerck and the board in their efforts to focus Altair’s resources on generating revenue and increasing shareholder value. Dr. Moerck noted that Altair will capitalize on the significant expertise of its board and senior management and expects them to take a hands-on approach to establishing the company’s growth strategy and goals, while closely monitoring the progress of each.

Posted 16th March 2004


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