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British company leads the way following a £4 million injection of funds

Oxonica - meeting customer needs through the application of nanomaterials

Oxford, UK. April 20th, 2004

Oxonica Limited, a major player in the exciting new area of applied nanomaterials has successfully raised £4 million ($7 million) in its latest round of investment.

Dr Kevin Matthews, Oxonica's CEO, commented on the fundraising: "Oxonica has supportive investors who recognise that the Company has established itself with substantial and near term commercial opportunities. The funds were raised from both Institutional and Individual shareholders. The investment money raised in 2002 has been successfully deployed in developing products and securing pathfinder revenues. The new money will be invested in the Company's sales and marketing activities, which is expected to include the development of major commercial partnerships. The venture capital firms investing in this round were VCF Partners, BASF Venture Capital GmbH, Generics Asset Management Ltd of The Generics Group and Quester."

Oxonica is focussed on delivering tailor-made solutions to customer needs with a portfolio of nanomaterial based new products. Oxonica has strong platform technologies from which to commercialise products initially in the fuel catalyst and cosmetics sectors. Existing products include:

Envirox® - A nanocatalyst improving fuel economy and reducing emissions in diesel engines.

Optisol® - Photostable UV protection with enhanced UVA performance for the cosmetics market.

Bernard Fairman, Managing Partner at VCF which represents Foresight Technology VCT and TriVest VCT and took the co-ordinating lead for the investment, commented: "Oxonica has started to secure customer interest as exemplified by the commercial trial with Stagecoach UK and we are fully supportive of the company gearing up its commercial activity to secure revenues and a sustainable market position in the sectors it is targeting."

"We are very pleased with our investment in Oxonica and the progress that the company has made", says Dr. Beate Ehle, Technical Managing Director at BASF Venture Capital GmbH. "Oxonica has a number of exciting opportunities that are global in nature and we are using BASF's expertise to help the company deliver on these."

For further information, please visit or contact Sonia Bouzid at Oxonica is based at 7 Begbroke Science Park, Sandy Lane, Yarnton, Kidlington, Oxon OX5 1PF, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (0) 1865 856 700. E-mail:

About BASF

BASF Venture Capital GmbH was established in 2001 as a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF Future Business GmbH, Ludwigshafen, Germany, and participates in start-up companies by providing venture capital to open up new growth potentials. In doing so, it focuses on companies with innovative business concepts and technologies in which chemistry is an important key to success. Investment is channeled towards companies that can demonstrate successful applications for their product developments as well as market demand. These companies also benefit from expertise from BASF Group companies.

BASF is the world's leading chemical company. Our goal is to grow profitably and further increase the value of our company. We help our customers to be more successful through intelligent system solutions and high-quality products. BASF's portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals to crude oil and natural gas. Through new technologies we can tap into additional market opportunities. We conduct our business in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. In 2003, BASF had sales of more than 33 billion Euros (circa $42 billion) and over 87,000 employees worldwide. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA), New York (BF), Paris (BA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at .

About VCF

VCF Partners is one of the UK's most seasoned investors in unquoted technology companies with a track record stretching back 20 years. VCF is Adviser to Foresight Technology VCT plc and TriVest VCT plc. Foresight tops the Venture Capital Trust performance tables. Recent deals led by VCF include Datapoint Consulting Group, a data storage solutions specialist, Broadreach Ltd, a provider of Wi-Fi access. Successful exits include the recent trade sale of Advanced Composites Group to Umeco.

About Foresight Technology VCT

Foresight is the best performing venture capital trust, having paid dividends of 113p for every 100p raised, with an additional 160p of unrealized net asset value. Having recently raised more money, Foresight is actively seeking new investments.

VCF Partners is the trading name of VCF LLP, Investment Advisers to Foresight Technology VCT plc and TriVest VCT plc, 5 The Old Yard, Rectory Lane, Brasted, Kent, TN16 1JP. Switch: 01959 563443, Fax: 01959 563562.

About Quester

Quester is one of the UK's leading independent venture capital groups specialising in the provision of finance and management support for growth companies at all stages of their life. Quester's focus is on early stage investments in information and communication technology, healthcare and life science companies. Quester has earned a reputation as one of the best UK based sources of venture capital. The Quester investment team manages approximately £300 million on behalf of major institutional investors, leading UK universities, and five quoted venture capital trusts.

About Generics

The Generics Group (Generics) is a leading integrated technology consulting, development and investment organisation, with an international reputation for successfully commercialising emerging science and technology.

Generics invests in and develops technologies that underpin the future of the widest range of industries. Its key areas of expertise include: engineering, materials, telecommunications, life sciences, business innovation and electronics.

Generics' facilities include state-of-the-art laboratories and are located in Europe in Cambridge, Frankfurt, Zürich, Switzerland and Stockholm; and in Boston and Baltimore in the USA. Generics has over 200 employees, of which more that half are high-calibre technology professionals.

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