With the news that Smart Eye is desperately using a SEK 60m (£4.8m) bridging loan to finance its business while it attempts a SEK 325m (£25m) discounted rights issue, the greatest Scandinavian fairytale since Hans Christian Anderson wrote ‘The Emperor has no clothes’ appears to be coming to a dramatic climax.
It’s sad news for investors who thought that the Emperor really was the leading global provider of driver monitoring systems and who believed that the 103 design wins it has long boasted of, and still boasts of, will ever go into production.
Indeed, the press release announcing this news reads like a profit warning, as it seeks to blame Covid for its problems, stating:
“The consequence for Smart Eye has thus been that the implementation of the Company’s software for DMS and Interior Sensing, as well as licensing revenues from existing design wins have been postponed. Hence, commercialization of design wins is expected to be realized later than originally estimated.”
Notwithstanding the massive dilution that investors will experience at the discounted rights issue, investors should really ask themselves how likely it is that Smart Eye will achieve its stated intention of a positive cash flow by the second half of 2024, given the parlous present state of its finances.
How many public companies can you name who are forced to use a bridging loan to stay afloat?
Investors will have to wait until January 24th to find out the price of the rights issue. Given the likelihood of the price plummeting before then, they are likely to sell in droves. This is turn will likely increase the resulting dilution necessary to raise the required funds.
Of course, investors should do their own research as I freely admit that I’m a long-term holder of shares in Seeing Machines — and had until a few years ago regarded Smart Eye as a serious rival.