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November 1, 2001

Anti-Terrorism Company's IPO

By Frank Musero

Timing is everything, writes Frank Musero.

While many businesses are expecting to return to normal in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, one is hoping to capitalize on the demand for increased security. That company is Amrus Technologies (proposed Nasdaq symbol: AMRU or AMRT.) It creates laser products that are used to screen items for explosives, bullets, chemical and biological weaponry. It also has laser products that can help land aircraft in unfavorable weather conditions. It owns 70 percent of Newcom, a company that has the technology for long-distance image transfer.

The company is applying for 20 patents, including technology for analytical sensing, determination and physical quantification of atomic, molecular and/or biological aspects in media, according to the SB-2 form it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Woodland Hill, Calif.-based firm is betting that increased demand for the type of products it manufactures will help the company raise $10 million in the planned IPO.

The deal, in which Amrus will sell 524,900 shares at $16 each, is a best efforts' arrangement. In other words, the company is not using an underwriter. On the financial side, the company posted a net loss of $210,000 for the first eight months of 2001. "We've been putting together [the IPO] for quite some time," said Glenn Morinka, chief executive for Amrus. "We're living under the right stars." Although obviously distressed by the Sept. 11 attacks, Morinka said the filing so shortly after the attacks was not intentional.

Frank Musero is an associate editor at the IPO Reporter, published by Venture Economics, a Thomson Financial Company.