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DNA firms get spliced

DNA firms get spliced

MCCULLOUGH ROBERTSON has helped cement a trans-Tasman merger of two DNA technology companies specialising in the beef and sheep industries.Australian firm Genetic Solutions and New Zealand…

MCCULLOUGH ROBERTSON has helped cement a trans-Tasman merger of two DNA technology companies specialising in the beef and sheep industries.

Australian firm Genetic Solutions and New Zealand company Catapult tied the knot earlier this year, forming Catapult Genetics, with operations and distributions networks in Australasia, Europe, South Africa and North America.

Both businesses were focused on the development and commercialisation of DNA marker technologies, Genetic Solutions on cattle and Catapult on sheep.

Shareholders in the merged company are Meat & Wool New Zealand, AgResearch, CSIRO and Nanyang Innovation Fund, managed by Kestrel Capital and the founders of Genetic Solutions, Jay Hetzel and Gerard Davis.

“Merging these companies gives us a stronger company and increased benefits to sheep and beef farmers in both countries. It opens up to New Zealand farmers new cattle DNA technologies and new sheep DNA technologies for Australian farmers,” said Jeff Grant, chairman of both Catapult and Meat & Wool New Zealand.

McCulloughs’ deals team acted for Genetic Solutions and included corporate advisory senior associate Reece Walker, partner Malcolm Bradley and corporate advisory solicitor Samantha Morris.

“This merger involved complex and innovative structuring solutions in terms of managing the requirements of the key shareholders, each of which were bound by the terms of their individual mandates,” said Walker.

“The cultural fit between the merger parties and the individual representatives is excellent. There was great rapport, not to mention a fair amount of ‘Bledisloe Cup’ style banter throughout the process.”

Co-founder of Genetic Solutions, Gerard Davis said the merger would “enable Catapult Genetics to grow commercially while continuing to enhance the research and development of livestock DNA technologies for the future”.

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