Adelaide-based firm O’Loughlins Lawyers has advised Clean Seas Tuna on the lodging of its prospectus and $18 million IPO. The company, owned by the Port Lincoln-based Stehr family, has its own 400-hectare hatchery at Arno Bay and produces kingfish and mulloway from its own brood stock. It also boasts 150 mature southern bluefin tuna (SBT) brood stock.
Simon O’Loughlin said the prospectus had been through the exposure period, and the issue was expected to close this week. “[The transaction] was a bit different because the issue was not only for shares but for convertible notes, so investors have to apply for an equal number of shares and convertible notes,” he said.
This meant trust deeds were required for the convertible notes, and their terms had to be negotiated. “It was just a bit of extra work,” he said.
Clean Seas chairman Hagen Stehr said Clean Seas was the only group in the world to have sexually mature SBT in captivity, and would use revenue raised through the IPO to fund a new broodstock facility and ongoing research and development. He said the Japanese had already closed the northern bluefin tuna lifecycle and were selling aquaculture-bred tuna in supermarkets, which has provided inspiration for the company.
Australian-farmed SBT is sold almost exclusively to the Japanese sashimi grade markets.