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New marine company looks to list on NZSE


Tuesday 28th January 2003

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A new marine technology investment company plans to list on the Stock Exchange, intent on raising at least $20 million, the New Zealand Herald reported today.

Backed by a high-powered board including John Storey, former chairman of the Dairy Board, NZ Dairy Foods and NZ Dairy Group, CeAnic is planning to invest in innovative marine companies.

It has already taken stakes in four companies, one of which is a finance firm specialising in the marine industry.

Mr Storey told the paper that the initial public offering would take up to $30 million if it was over-subscribed.

"We think it's quite an exciting business because it does have the potential to be a world leader in marine innovation."

Mr Storey said he hoped to list on the exchange in the next six to eight weeks. A prospectus for investors was still being prepared and should be released in February.

He said the potential for investors was enormous.

"If you take the boating industry's expectation of revenues, by the year 2004 the revenues will be $1 billion.

"Aquaculture's predicted to reach $1 billion by the year 2020."

Mr Storey said there was no other company in New Zealand like CeAnic. It already has stakes in four existing marine or marine-related companies:

* 20 percent in Saba Yachts, which builds deep-hulled ocean-going vessels.

* 25 percent in Smart Ships, a marine design company.

* 30 percent in Dynamic Marine Systems, which specialises in marine software. It has five products and two more being developed, and its focus is on a positioning system that allows ships to stay in one spot over the seabed.

* 50 percent in Guardian Capital Finance, a debt-financing company for the marine industry chaired by former Countrywide Bank chief executive David Wolfenden.

Mr Storey said the stakes had been funded privately and been built up over the past few months. The company would look out for opportunities to take stakes in other marine companies as well. He said it was intended that Guardian Finance would be developed "quite aggressively" and used as a vehicle to expand marine businesses.

Other areas CeAnic would focus on were on investing in innovative start-ups, partnerships with European marine companies, and exporting.

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