Clean Seas seeks partner to survive
CLEAN Seas Tuna is fighting for survival after failing to find a desperately needed partner for its troubled yellowtail kingfish business.
It also warned it would have to write down the value of its southern bluefin tuna as it would be suspending its tuna propagation program, which would have a $30 million negative impact on its first-half results.
The company's shares were punished, losing 1.4¢, or 40 per cent, to 2.1¢, having traded as high as $2 in March 2008.
But Clean Seas says it has tackled the issues that were worrying investors: including the health problems of 2012 that caused high numbers of fish deaths and a dramatic reduction in stocks.
The South Australian aquaculture company said on Friday it had either to continue with a stripped-down kingfish business or to find a joint-venture partner.
It would speak to a shortlist of potential partners early in the new year.
The illnesses that caused many kingfish to die or not grow to full size this year were disastrous for the company, leading to a $30.75 million full-year loss and job losses and cost cutting.
The improvement of feed - including an essential amino acid - had reduced mortality rates and improved health to achieve higher prices of $12.50 a kilogram, the company said.
It is seeking compensation from its Australian feed suppliers.
The company blamed the present investment climate and the heavy funding requirements and losses associated with the fish health problems and its breeding program for scaring investors away.
"Given the company's limited financial resources and need to preserve liquidity, the company anticipates suspending its tuna propagation program for at least the 2013-14 summer, and to direct its limited financial resources to its yellowtail kingfish operations," Clean Seas said.
It said it was largely debt free, with a cash balance of $3.93 million, up from $3.64 million at the end of September.
Capital-raising options were being considered, including rights issues and debt raising.