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Rusnano pours millions into Plastic Logic

Remember the Plastic Logic Que ereader that garnered a lot of attention but was canceled last August? Since then, Plastic Logic has been looking for investors to buoy up its plastic electronic technologies—and now it has found one. Rusnano and Plastic Logic have announced a deal that will Plastic Logic getting up to $700 million to create the world’s largest plastic electronics production facility in Zelenograd, Russia, with the aim of turning Russia into a leader in an emerging plastic electronics market.

“We evaluated multiple locations and potential partners across the globe for our second factory. We determined Russia with Rusnano as an investment partner was the best fit for our business,” said Plastic Logic CEO Richard Archuleta, in a statement. “Rusnano has demonstrated it is fully invested in our goal to commercialize plastic electronics.”

Plastic Logic will continue to maintain its core R&D production facility in Cambridge, England, as well as its commercial factory in Dresden, Germany, and its Silicon Valley corporate HQ. However, the company’s second manufacturing facility will go up in Zelenograd, Russia, with an aim towards establishing a “new branch of the electronics industry” in Russia.

Plastic Logic has already received an initial investment package of $300 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Rusnano has put forward an initial investment of $150 million along with partial guarantees for $100 million debt financing. Plastic Logic investor Oak Investment Partners is kicking in another $50 million. Over the next few years, an additional $400 million in equity and debt will be raised, although Plastic Logic isn’t clear about how much of that will be coming from Rusnano, Oak, or other sources.

Rusnano is a state-owned corporation; its $150 initial investment equates to about a 25 percent stake in Plastic Logic.

The Zelenograd factory will be located at the heart of Russia’s microelectronics industry and is expected to come online in 2013 or 2014. The facility will employ in excess of 300 people, and will be able to produce hundreds of thousands of next-generation plastic electronics displays every month. Plastic Logic describes the technology as “disruptive,” with the capability to replace silicon electronics in variety of electronics devices, including flexible active-matrix displays.

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