LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Braidy Industries still lacks financing for its $1.7 billion aluminum mill in eastern Kentucky, and for the third time, the company has extended the deadline of its ongoing stock sale to investors.
Braidy Industries said in a statement Thursday that it anticipates landing an unspecified amount of capital from an unidentified “potential strategic investor.”
The extension of the stock offering that had been scheduled to end Sunday for another 10 weeks, to June 15, is meant to coincide with the unspecified "strategic" investment, Braidy Industries said.
There is "no assurance" that investment will materialize, the company said.
The company is closely watched because Kentucky leaders have said it can help revitalize Appalachia with 600 high-paying jobs – and in an unusual move, Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration invested $15 million of taxpayer money in Braidy Industries when it was first formed in 2017.
While still a private company, Braidy Industries is trying to sell $500 million in newly issued stock by June 15 so it can finance construction of the $1.7 billion aluminum mill planned for Ashland.
The extension of the stock sale doesn't change Braidy Industries' projection that the mill will be built and operating in 2021.
"Everything is going according to plan," said Jaunique Sealey, a Braidy Industries vice president, on Thursday.
The $15 million public investment was part of an effort to land Braidy Industries’ mill in Kentucky.
The state could demand the money back if Braidy Industries fails to "invest" at least $1 billion in the mill by Dec. 31, 2020. But as the company notes in its regulatory filings, its relationship with the state is "strong."
The company raised about $5 million from other investors at the time Kentucky bought in, and it raised another $75 million in 2018, according to securities filings.
But Braidy Industries needs much more – about $500 million – in investor money before it can obtain loans necessary for the mill’s construction, the company has said.
So far, the company has disclosed raising $12.4 million toward the $500 million goal, while twice extending the deadline of the stock offering before the extension disclosed on Thursday.
The $12.4 million was raised on NetCapital, the online portal where any mom-and-pop investor can buy into the company for as little as $108.
But the company has said its efforts to raise capital from big, institutional investors would not be reflected in the NetCapital figure.