11/01/2022 - 15:06

Catalano’s floats $6m target for listing

11/01/2022 - 15:06

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After selling seafood in the state for more than half a century, Catalano’s is looking to use capital from a planned ASX listing to fund an expansion into the east coast.

Catalano’s floats $6m target for listing
Nick Catalano with nephew Mark Lupica (Retail Manager) and sons Josh (Marketing) and David (Operations Manager). Photo: Catalano's Seafood

After selling seafood in the state for more than half a century, Catalano’s is looking to use capital from a planned ASX listing to fund an expansion into the east coast.

The Nick Catalano-helmed company was formed when family patriarch Francesco Catalano purchased a Cannington fish and chip shop in 1969.

A generation later and the business is now looking to raise $6 million via an initial public offering to take Western Australian seafood to supermarkets over east.

Speaking to Business News, Mr Catalano said the timing was right for a listing.  

“It was a catch 22 situation, you either grow or you stay and sometimes you can’t really stay as you are,” he said.

“Seafood is worth over $1 billion dollars nationally from a retail point of view and understanding what’s backing this up is a family that’s been around for a long time.”

He said preparing for the listing had been an expensive exercise however, which included investment into new processing equipment at its Bassendean facility.

Revenue also took a knock when it closed two of its four retail outlets, Booragoon and Karrinyup, citing expensive rent costs in shopping centres.

In turn, it posted a $500,000 net operating loss for FY21, but Mr Catalano was optimistc about moving into the black in the company’s first year.

“Our strategy has changed over the last couple of years,” Mr Catalano said.

The business plans to enter smaller, independent supermarkets by setting up Catalano’s standalone counters.

"IGA or Metcash don’t really have a seafood solution to compete with Coles and Woolworths, so we provide a seafood cateogy management solution," Mr Catalano said. 

“Our plan is to grow that concept into the east and have about 40 stores over the next couple of years.”

The business opened an office in Melbourne last year and stock supply arrangements with four independent supermarkets is currently underway.

“We’ve been in preparation for this for quite some time.”

Broadly, Mr Catalano said his business had not felt the effect of COVID-19 and that pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions had, in fact, created a niche’ for the company.

About $1 million from the raise will go towards upgrading processing facilities in Bassendean, a spend Mr Catalano says will mean the company can offer increased seafood processing services – typically done in Malaysia and Indonesia – in Western Australia.

Shares are on offer at 20 cents apiece and set to be issued on February 17.

RM Capital (via RM Corporate Finance) acted as lead manager with Auspac Financial Advisory as co-lead manager to the public offer.

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