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January 26, 2015 Biz Money

Wiscasset aerospace contractor looks to raise $4.5M

Four Maine companies raised money recently through equity, debt or pooled investment fund interest offerings.

PTT Distributed Energy Systems LLC, a Wiscasset-based maker of turbo-machinery elements and a method to analyze stress on rotating engine parts, said it sold $120,000 of a total equity offering of $4.5 million, and has another $750,000 in commitments. The date of first sale was Dec. 9, 2014, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Company CEO and Chief Technology Officer David Stapp told Mainebiz the money will be used to buy the hardware to build a prototype of a new energy-efficient turbo engine. It initially will be marketed for distributed energy and electric power generation applications to small municipalities, industrial parks and military complexes, but later could be sold to aerospace customers. The small turbine can generate six megawatts of electricity, he said, adding that the first demonstration unit is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

PTT Distributed Energy is a subsidiary of Peregrine Turbine Technologies, from which it licensed exclusive rights to the technology. In 2012, Peregrine Turbine Technologies was awarded $5,000 from the Maine Technology Institute, with a match of $13,000, for its improved efficiency turbine design that can run on diesel, natural gas, propane, syngas and other fuels. In 2013, the company won a $149,995, Phase II Small Business Innovation Research award for a novel advanced propulsion system for large unmanned aerial systems, and in 2003 it won a Phase I SBIR award for $97,102 for its new method for analyzing the stress and life of rotating engine parts.

Spinnaker Realty Fund LP, a pooled investment fund based in Portland, filed an amended SEC offering for $25 million for interests in the fund. Of the amount, $16,125,000 has been sold, with a first date of sale on Aug. 3, 2013, according to the amended filing, which was made in early January. Sara Lewis, senior vice president of Spinnaker Trust, which runs the fund, told Mainebiz the fund is now closed. The money will be used to buy commercial real estate or interests in real estate.

Wentworth Technology Inc., a Saco-based maker of a wireless headphone system for drive-through restaurants, sold all of a $422,156 offering of debt and options, with the date of first sale on Dec. 22, 2014, according to an SEC filing.

Company President and CEO Richard Hale told Mainebiz in an interview last May that he plans to make Internet-based software upgrades to the company's product in the future, and to keep tapping the fast-food restaurant drive-through market, where 70% of buying is now occurring compared to walk-in traffic. Fast-food restaurants represent a $100 million-a-year market, growing at 6% annually for new products and at about 10% for retrofits or upgrades.

And, CEI Investment Notes Inc. of Wiscasset filed an amended debt form in early January that showed it has sold $5.18 million of a $20 million debt offering, with the date of first sale on Dec. 17, 2010. According to the company's website, CEI Notes is a source of capital for CEI, formerly known as Coastal Enterprises Inc. Funds are pooled and used to finance high impact micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses; natural resources ventures in sustainable agriculture, fisheries and forest products; affordable housing; and community facilities.

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