29/07/2010 - 00:00

Kailis interest in lobster JV

29/07/2010 - 00:00

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AQUACULTURE commercialisation group Lobster Harvest is hoping to stimulate more local interest in its $4 million fund raising after announcing a big tie-up with listed Singaporean player Oceanus Group.

Kailis interest in lobster JV

AQUACULTURE commercialisation group Lobster Harvest is hoping to stimulate more local interest in its $4 million fund raising after announcing a big tie-up with listed Singaporean player Oceanus Group.

Oceanus has paid $1 million for a 6.5 per cent share in Lobster Harvest, which together with associated options, values the enterprise at an estimated $22.6 million. Fremantle-based MG Kailis Group remains the biggest shareholder in Lobster Harvest.

Oceanus will also enter into two 50:50 joint ventures with Lobster Australia into which the Singaporean group will commit a total of $2 million seed capital. Lobster Australia will put $1 million into one of the JVs, which will be based in Singapore. The other JV will be established in China.

Lobster Harvest’s commercialisation plan is focused on two species that have not previously been raised in hatcheries.

MG Kailis Group managing director Alex Kailis was enthusiastic about having Oceanus on board because the Singaporean company was experienced in abalone aquaculture commercialisation and had a fast-growing chain of more than 100 restaurants in China.

Mr Kailis said the fund raising in Australia remained sluggish because the market did not have a regular appetite for aquaculture projects.

He said the current fund raising, started in April, had now generated half of the $4 million sought from investors via Patersons Securities.

“Oceanus’ involvement really validates our position with regard to our technology and management,” Mr Kailis said.

Oceanus is not directly associated with MG Kailis Group’s existing Singaporean partners, who were seed capitalists in Lobster Harvest. The group plans a listing of the aquaculture business in about a year.

In other primary production news, the planned initial public offering of up to $30 million for Kailis Organic Olive Groves, a company owned by another branch of the Kailis family, has reportedly faced delays.

Kailis Organic, headed by Mark Kailis, plans to take control of 2,000 hectares of olive groves owned by failed managed investment scheme player manager Great Southern.

It was reported recently that Great Southern liquidator Ferrier Hodgson has granted Kailis Organic an extension to September 30 to complete the purchase of the olive assets.

Agricultural investment group AACL secured an important funding and marketing deal worth almost $30 million with Glencore Grain for the 2010-11 season after it failed to repeat a deal with CBH Grain.

The failure to reach agreement with CBH led to the departure of AACL managing director Andrew McBain in June. Mr McBain also stepped down as a director of associated company Carbon Conscious this month.

 

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