Cell shelves project in Las Vegas

BARRAMUNDI farming specialist Cell Aquaculture Ltd has set its sights on a greater slice of the Asian market after successfully raising $1.2 million and shelving plans for a new aquaculture facility in Las Vegas. The company signed an agreement with US-based project managers in October 2007 to establish a 500-tonne per annum facility, and has been looking for a suitable site. But executive chairman Paul Hopper said in view of the high level of interest in Cell’s technology from South-East Asia, the company had decided to postpone the proposed Las Vegas venture and would not be proceeding with it in the medium term. The postponement follows Cell’s decision in October to cease its fledgling Mississippi aquaculture operation, resulting in combined losses of $2.41 million. Cell was planning to relocate the Mississippi plant to the Nevada site. In addition to established barramundi production at Cell’s Hamilton Hill-based headquarters in Perth, the company has built production facilities in the US, Netherlands, and Bulgaria, and has now started construction of large-scale facility in Malaysia, in joint venture with the Terengganu State Government of Malaysia. The fund raising involved institutional investors as well as other sophisticated investors who subscribed to eight million shares at 15 cents each. Investors also get a one for three free option exercisable at 20 cents per share, with a three-year term.

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