Amersfoort, November 7th, 2016 - Mars One and InFin Innovative Finance AG [FRA:KCC] (“InFin”) are pleased to announce that a takeover agreement was signed between InFin and all shareholders of Mars One Ventures PLC (“Mars One Ventures”). InFin will acquire 100% of the shares of Mars One Ventures for €87 million with newly issued, fully paid up InFin shares. After admission of the new InFin shares to trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the Mars One Ventures shareholders will hold 97.5% of the InFin shares. The boards of the companies have unanimously approved the agreement. InFin Innovative Finance AG will be renamed Mars One Ventures AG.
"Mars One is very pleased to have been acquired by InFin. This step provides the opportunity to raise capital through the listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. This listing also supports our aim to attract international support to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars: our global followers will have the opportunity to be part of this adventure and to literally own a piece of this historic venture. We have a solid business based on our historical performance that might be of interest to anyone looking for diversification of their investment portfolio," says Bas Lansdorp, CEO and co-founder of Mars One.
With the acquisition of Mars One Ventures by InFin, Mars One creates a decisive and time-critical competitive advantage by being the first Mars exploration company to successfully go public. The listing at the renowned Frankfurt Stock exchange enables direct access to the global capital market. This will be the first global opportunity for investment banks, funds, stockbrokers and any other (retail) investor to take part in a human mission to another planet through buying shares in a listed company.
"We are delighted having closed this transaction. We feel confident that the international brand recognition of Mars One combined with InFin as a listed vehicle at a regulated market as a capital raising platform will, in time, deliver long term sustainable returns to our existing and future shareholders, especially once the pending Mars One mission funding will have been completed," says Prof. Moritz Hunzinger, CEO of InFin.
Company Structure and Commercial Potential
Mars One consists of two entities: the not-for-profit Mars One Foundation and British public limited company Mars One Ventures PLC. The Mars One Foundation implements and manages the mission and owns the mission hardware. It also selects and trains the crews, and is building an ever growing community of experts and supporters that follow the progress of the mission and contribute to it. Mars One has a renowned advisory board including a former NASA Chief Technologist, an astronaut, and a Nobel prize laureate. With several completed feasibility studies by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company and Paragon Space Development Corporation, Mars One Foundation has built a firm basis on which to continue its mission.
The Foundation has transferred all global monetization rights to Mars One Ventures in order to successfully finance the mission. Revenue streams for Mars One Ventures are sales of merchandise, ads on video content, broadcasting rights, brand partnerships, Intellectual Property, and many others.
Mars One Ventures will pay €6 million out of the capital to be raised through the listing to the Mars One Foundation as part of the exclusive monetization rights contract. Additionally, it will pay a 5% license fee on all revenue to the Foundation. The Foundation will use that funding to move the mission to Mars forward: award new contracts to suppliers, organize the next round in the astronaut selection process, hire team members with experience in implementing Mars missions, and crew selection and training. Mars One Ventures will build a core team of experienced media professionals to develop the Mars One brand and monetize it.
"Mars One's mission has been covered by news outlets around the world, reaching millions of individuals. The 2013 job opening to become one of the Mars One astronauts was one of the most popular job vacancies of all times. There are currently 100 candidates remaining, who will face team challenges in the next round of the selection program. Our candidates give Mars exploration a human face and I believe this is one of the reasons why Mars One is so successful. We expect the documentary series about selecting the right teams to reach an even larger audience," says Lansdorp.
Financing and Closing Conditions
The boards of the companies have agreed that InFin will purchase all Mars One Ventures shares. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including InFin shareholder approval of the agreement and due diligence. The extraordinary shareholder meeting of InFin will take place on the 2nd of December 2016. The board of InFin has received irrevocable commitments for over 70% of the voting shares of InFin to agree to the acquisition at the shareholder meeting.
Bas Lansdorp, co-founder and CEO of Mars One, will be appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Further Members of the Board will be Prof. Hunzinger, InFin's current CEO, and Suzanne Flinkenflögel, Director of Communications of Mars One.
Mars One will be looking for a new CEO for Mars One Ventures with a proven track record in growing start up companies and leading established media companies. Lansdorp says: “We’re looking for a visionary CEO for Mars One Ventures to build the Mars One brand and grow the company to a multi billion dollar business over the course of 10 years to enable the next giant leap for humankind: Settling Mars”.
About Mars One
Mars One aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Before carefully selected and trained crews will depart to Mars, several unmanned missions will be completed, establishing a habitable settlement waiting for the first astronauts to arrive.
Mars One consists of two entities: the Dutch not-for-profit Mars One Foundation and a British public limited company Mars One Ventures PLC (Mars One Ventures). The Mars One Foundation implements, and manages the mission and owns the mission hardware. It also selects and trains the crews, and is building an ever growing community of experts and supporters that follow the progress of the mission and contribute to it.
Mars One Ventures holds the exclusive monetization rights around the Mars One mission. There are many revenue possibilities around the mission to Mars: merchandise, ads on video content, broadcasting rights, partnerships, Intellectual Property, events, games, apps, and many more.
For more information about Mars One, please visit www.mars-one.com.
About InFin Innovative Finance
InFin Innovative Finance AG (Basel, Switzerland) provides innovative services within the scope of financing, setting up, building, acquiring, managing and selling companies and participations in companies at home and abroad as well as holding and managing licenses and patents of all kinds. After the completion of the full takeover of Mars One, the company will trade as "Mars One Ventures AG" and henceforth change its business purpose accordingly.
For more information about InFin, please visit infin-innovative.com.