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Aquaria still alive

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Wednesday 30th May 2001

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Aquaria Holdings (NZSE: AQL) says it's in confidential negotiations to acquire a business.

The comment follows a price enquiry from the NZSE after AQL's shares more than doubled in price - from 1.5 cents to 3.3 cents - over a period of two weeks.

The NZSE also queried the volume of shares being traded, which it says is substantially higher than normal.

Aquaria says since selling its operating assets in September last year and becoming a cash investor it has made various announcements that it has been investigating new business opportunities.

"The company has been recently involved in confidential negotiations to acquire a business. As of this morning negotiations are continuing and no contractual documentation has been signed," the company told the exchange.

In January the company said it was optimistic an appropriate business could be found this year but it had still not found anything suitable by the time of its full-year announcement in March.

At the end of 2000 the company had cash of $272,000 and net assets of $169,000, but since then had issued a further 22.8 million shares for $342,000.

There has been repeated market speculation that the company might be used as a vehicle for a back door listing although that possibility is seen as unlikely by many commentators.

AQL Holdings recorded a $15.5 million loss last year which included more than $12 million of unusual items relating to its disastrous foray into the aquarium business.

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