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Green Imaging Pays 1st Dividend

Almost three years after striking its groundbreaking partnership with Oxford Instruments of Britain, Fredericton-based Green Imaging Technologies has reached an important milestone, paying its first dividend to shareholders.

Green Imaging was launched by Derrick and Jill Green, who used technology developed at the University of New Brunswick to make it easier, faster and more economical for petroleum companies to study rock core samples extracted during the exploration process.

The Greens funded their growth through angel investment, including raising an undisclosed amount from members of the First Angel Network in 2006.

In May 2011, the firm granted exclusivity to Oxford (a publicly traded company with a market capitalization equal to about $1.8 billion) so the two companies could commercialize the technology together.

The first result of that partnership was the launch in the autumn of 2011 of a fully integrated nuclear magnetic resonance cell for rock core examination.

In an interview, Jill Green said that the company’s revenues have more than doubled in the past two years, and the board felt the recent level of profits justified a cash disbursement to shareholders.

“We had a group of great investors, the majority of them coming in through the First Angel Network,” said Green. “We’ve seen steady growth and we’re profitable so we thought it was time to say, ‘Thank you for supporting us.’”

She said the board gave the decision a lot of thought and added that it’s soon to say whether regular dividends will be paid in the near future.

Network co-founder Ross Finlay said Green Imaging is the first company in its portfolio to pay a dividend.

“We were impressed with the quality, thoughtfulness and professionalism of the Greens from the very beginning,” he said. “They were in many respects the ideal entrepreneur for an angel investor: They knew their business, they knew their technology, they knew their market and they were willing to look for advice.”

Green said the nuclear magnetic resonance cells are proving to be superb tools for examining the rock core extracted during the exploration process, especially in extreme environments.

As oil companies are now exploring in increasingly remote places, the company is travelling to and making sales in Russia, Japan and the Middle East. Green Imaging, which books 99.9 per cent of its sales outside Canada, just closed its first deal in Africa.

“We’re going to some great places in South America,” she added. “What a beautiful continent that is.”

The company continues to work with UNB researchers on developing its products. When forming the company, the Greens struck a deal with the university that determined some intellectual property would be licensed to the company while the company would own other property.

It was a pioneering arrangement that has served both parties well and ensured steady growth, said Green.

“Angel investors, because of the high level of risk, have to be patient investors,” said Finlay. “That patience has paid off with Green Imaging Technologies, and we are very pleased to have given this company the capital it needed to commercialize and grow.”