Seafarms to raise £49m for major prawn farm project

SEAFARMS, the Australian shrimp farming group, is planning to raise AUS $90m (£49m) to fund its Project Sea Dragon project in the north of the country.

Project Sea Dragon is a large scale, integrated land-based prawn aquaculture development designed to produce year round high quality prawn volumes for the export market.

The group says funds are being sought immediately to start construction on the project with the aim of achieving the first prawn harvest by the third quarter of 2023.

Eligible shareholders are being invited to take part in the fund raising through a share purchase plan to raise an additional AUS $15m.

Seafarms says the capital raising will be underpinned by Mr Ian Trahar, the company chairman and largest shareholder who plans to invest AUS $20m into the capital raising and convert all loans of about AUS $15.2m to equity on the same terms as the placement.

An extraordinary general meeting will be held in late July to approve the placement and other matters.

Seafarms, is backed by Nissui, the Japanese seafood group, which bought a AUS $25m stake in the business three years ago. It is now one of the largest aquaculture operators in Australia, selling products under the Crystal Bay Prawns brand.

The company says its ongoing strategy is to develop further aquaculture operations “to produce the highest quality seafood”, backed by Project Sea Dragon its large greenfield investment in North Queensland where it has been operating since 1988.

It has grown its business from 600 tonnes to almost 1,800 tonnes over the last four years, making it the largest prawn farmer in the country.

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