Innovation Park's cash hunt

ANDREA FOX
Last updated 14:15 25/07/2012

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Waikato Innovation Park is capital hunting after a deal with Eden Agri Capital to take a 50 per cent stake in the economic development incubator for $13.2 million ran over its time limit.

The innovation park board today said under a deal signed in May last year it had intended to issue new shares to Eden in exchange for a 50 per cent interest in the park company but the agreed timeframe for Eden to invest had expired.
A joint statement today blamed the "current investment climate" for Eden being unable to invest in time.

Eden director Craig Weise was not immediately available for comment and park chairman Michael Spaans referred questions about Eden's capital raising to Eden.

Spaans said Eden was due to raise the capital for the stake by March. This had been extended to June.

Waikato Innovation Park, owned 80.2 per cent by an economic development trust and 19.8 per cent by the Hamilton City Council, was still keen to have Eden as an investment partner because of its experience and empathy with the park's growth strategy, but was signalling it was opening the door to other investors, Spaans said.

The $13.2 m capital injection was to extend the park's buildings to accommodate growing tenants and to take up overseas dairy farming investment opportunities.

"We are 100 per cent full - we are now and were then. We want to put more investment into our park. Other parts of the capital raise would have been to raise capital for businesses in the park and other parts of the region who are growing and looking for capital."

Dairy Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Waikato Innovation Park, was investigating investment opportunities with equity partners in Columbia, Hawaii and other tropical and sub-tropical countries, Spaans said.

"We need to regroup and start again."

There was no firm interest from other potential investors yet, Spaans said.

"It may be appropriate to attract a smaller amount for parts of the business (next time). We will be looking at a range of options for capital raising."

Companies Office records show Eden Agri Capital's sole shareholder is Eden Capital Management, which is owned by several private investment companies.

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- Waikato Times

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