13/02/2015 - 14:31

Seafarms backed by Commodities Group, Trahar: BNiQ

13/02/2015 - 14:31

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

This week, I started posting articles on how BNiQ, our searchable database, can help you delve into Western Australian companies and people in a previously unavailable way.

Seafarms backed by Commodities Group, Trahar: BNiQ

This week, I started posting articles on how BNiQ, our searchable database, can help you delve into Western Australian companies and people in a previously unavailable way.

The first one looked at Nauti-Craft and how it emerged from an automotive tech business, Kinetic.

With a similarly historic perspective, I thought I’d look at a story we did on aquaculture this week, namely a plan for a massive prawn farm on the northern Western Australian border (this story has now been updated here).

News that a group called Seafarms was planning to launch this operation was interesting, and all part of the mining-to-dining theme that’s been getting a fair bit of airplay in the past 12 months.

The most intriguing thing about this business was one of the key people behind it – Ian Trahar.

Mr Trahar is best known in WA for his work with former Wesfarmers CEO and chairman Trevor Eastwood in their industrial company, Avatar Industries, which had a hand in many different products and ventures. Another name from that group is Paul Favretto, who is still linked to Mr Trahar.

While Avatar may not have been the spectacular success Wesfarmers was, investors had something of a win as we noted in 2007 when it was delisted and shareholders received a chunk of cash in the process.

Just prior to its delisting it had also sold its drilling subsidiary, DrillCorp Ltd, to Boart Longyear in for $134 million, a profit of more than $100 million – a pretty spectacular deal for a business that had struggled through the depths of the exploration drought at the turn of the century.

That certainly didn’t signal the end of Mr Trahar’s ASX investment career.

Firstly, he had backed carbon sequestration group CO2 Australia, which was hoping to cash in on the wave of interest in that sector.

There was also the failed attempt to takeover household furnishings manufacturer and distributor Kresta Holdings for $47 million. In 2011, Mr Trahar had a red hot go at selling his cause but came up against a brick wall and bowed out, despite offering more than the $32 million it was valued at last year when its main Chinese shareholder made its own takeover bid.

Clearly Mr Trahar is restless when it comes to tackling new ideas in the ASX domain.

While CO2 had its heyday was in 2007, as climate change alarmism reached its crescendo in Australia on the back of Kevin Rudd’s election campaign win, Mr Trahar obviously felt there was life in the listed entity if it took a change of direction. Last year the company morphed into Commodities Group and has become the backer of Seafarms, which is endeavouring to become the dominant player in northern Australian aquaculture.

Mr Tahar has an interest in at least one pastoral station, so an agri-business venture in the state’s north is not completely out of the blue.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options