Nov. 13, 2000 (Press Association)—A company that specialises in developing gas turbines the size of shirt buttons is to float on the London Stock Exchange.

Japanese-owned STS employs about 330 staff in Newport, Wales, and specialises in developing the micro gas turbines, each of which has the power to supply up to 100 watts of electrical power.

The turbines are mostly used for military applications but have the potential to be used as mobile power sources and in propulsion engines.

It also builds micro-electronic circuits a fraction of the thickness of a human hair and mechanical devices almost too small to be seen by the naked eye.

The flotation next month on the Alternative Investment Market will see the company raise £12 million from a share placing.

While the staff will make money directly from the windfall, they will be able to take up share options in the company.

The flotation should see the company achieving a market capitalisation of between £50 million and £100 million.

STS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japanese giant Sumitomo Precision Products.

The flotation is also unusual in that it is rare for Japanese companies to spin off parts of businesses they own.

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