SeaDragon on the move
Low-key Stoke fish oil refiner SeaDragon Marine oils is poised for international growth following a three-way deal with an Australian bioscience investor.
SeaDragon, which has eight staff at its Nayland Rd factory, has become the largest company of its kind in Australasia. It produces hundreds of tonnes of refined hoki and shark oil for clients in the expanding dietary supplement industry, sourcing much of its raw materials from Sealord and Talley's.
The Auckland-listed investment company Claridge Capital has been negotiating with SeaDragon since last year, when it announced it would acquire the Stoke business for $2.2 million and pay by issuing 600 million shares to SeaDragon's owners.
Now it has told the New Zealand Stock Exchange that Octa Phillip Bioscience Managers has agreed to invest $2.5m for 312.5 million Claridge share shares at 0.8c each.
The deal, which gives SeaDragon a back-door sharemarket listing, is conditional on Claridge completing the purchase of the Stoke company and on Claridge's shareholders approving the allotment of the new shares to OPBM.
Claridge chairman Sean Joyce said the intention was for Claridge to become a "one-trick pony" by effectively becoming SeaDragon. He said the agreement with OPBM opened the door to a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the development of bio-based products that would "add enormous value to the SeaDragon initiative".
Claridge had decided that before completing the purchase of SeaDragon it needed more capital "to implement the SeaDragon business plan" and had been negotiating with OPBM for some time.
"That enables us to push the go button and seek the approval of the Claridge shareholders to conclude the purchase of SeaDragon."
If the deal went through Nelson would remain SeaDragon's home. "We will be sending out extensive documents to the market in the next month or so.
"Our preference is to keep our heads down at the moment, get the deal concluded, then we will be able to say a lot more.
"It's a very exciting, interesting business."
OPBM managing director Jeremy Curnock Cook, said SeaDragon's plans offered a "compelling proposition".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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