07 Apr 2015 Kebble’s SurePure liquid purification looking wobbly
Last week, SurePure posted an annual report showing a spectacular 226% rise in revenue – yet it was an island in a sea of otherwise horrible figures.
This did not deter Kebble, who said he was loving the way that things were going in his company. “It is a fun thing for me … It is going to make me some money in my time.”
SurePure’s value lies in its patented technology, which removes toxins and other undesirable elements from a range of products. Rather than using heat, it uses ultraviolet light to purify opaque liquids, including milk and fruit and vegetable juices. Most other UV purification process are only effective on transparent liquids (read more here).
The product could, for example, be used to purify milk in India -a market that Kebble described as a huge prospect.
SurePure claims to be a “greener alternative to comparable heat or chemical-based processes” and offers “significant process and energy savings”. “Thermal is in the past. It’s dead,” Kebble said.
But Kebble’s view that SurePure is destined to make money seems a trifle optimistic, given that its net loss since its launch in 2005 now stands at more than $34-million (about R415-million).
Last week’s report said that “historical losses are expected to continue unless we are able to generate significant amounts of revenue”. Operating losses have been so immense that it has been “difficult for us to raise additional working capital”.
It has not exactly been good news for Kebble’s investors, either: since the company was listed in New York in 2012, the share price has plummeted from over $1.50 to $0.16.
But Kebble said his company was monstrously undervalued. He described it as a “100 bagger” – meaning it is worth 100 times its purchase price.
Maybe so – but it needs to pay around $2.8-million in taxes, salaries and “other current liabilities”.
Kebble said that he, as well as “friends and family” who put money into the project, decided to list the company in the US to get traction for the innovative product idea. This group involved people he has “known for a long time”, some of whom he admitted were Swiss bankers.
Part of the reason that the company is not listed on the JSE is because of the monumental fraud and eventual assassination of Kebble’s brother. Brett Kebble was CEO of mining companies JCI, Randgold & Exploration and Western Areas until a few weeks before his death, when he was ousted by Allan Gray and Investec…..