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NZ King Salmon reviewing capital options

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/07/2016 Paul McBeth

New Zealand King Salmon Investments says it's reviewing its capital options to support the development of three new farms in the Marlborough Sounds after Australian media reported the company was looking at an initial public offering.

The Nelson-based salmon farmer and processor hired Credit Suisse and First NZ Capital to test investor interest in Australia and New Zealand for a dual-listing on both sides of the Tasman, valuing the company at $200 million, the Australian Financial Review's Street Talk column reported.

"New Zealand King Salmon is reviewing capital options to support its ongoing growth opportunities and the development of its three new farms in the Marlborough Sounds consented in 2014," chief executive Grant Rosewarne said in an emailed statement. "No decisions have yet been made and the company will be making no further comment at this stage."

The company operates seven farms in Marlborough's Pelorus and Queen Charlotte sounds and has three new farms coming on stream. The consents for the new sites were opposed by environmental groups all the way to the Supreme Court in 2014, which succeeded in winning a protection of "outstanding landscapes" and ruling out another proposed farm.

NZ King Salmon reported a loss of $1.5 million on revenue of $95.1m in the year ended June 30, 2014, the latest financial statements filed with the Companies Office.

The AFR reported the company was targeting sales of $115m and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $15m once it's listed.

The company is controlled by Oregon Group, the investment firm of Malaysia's Tiong family headed by Tan Sri Sir Tiong Hiew King, with 51 per cent. Local private equity group Direct Capital holds 45 per cent. Neither shareholder was immediately available to comment on the IPO speculation.

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