AquaBounty prepares for NASDAQ listing with reverse share-split
AquaBounty, which pioneered a faster-growing, genetically engineered salmon, has completed a reverse stock split in anticipation of its listing on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
The Massachusetts, U.S.A.-based company first announced a conversion of its shares in December in order to comply with NASDAQ listing requirements. The 1-for-30 reverse share split of its common shares was completed on 5 January, leaving the company with 6,463,935 common shares with a par value of USD. 0001 each. The goal of the split was to increase the market price and decreased the number of shares in issue.
The F.D.A. ruled in November 2015 that AquaBounty’s AquAdvantage salmon, an Atlantic salmon modified with a growth hormone gene from a Chinook salmon and a promoter sequence from an ocean pout that enables it to grow faster, is safe to eat. However, it still faces many challenges before it brings its product to market.
Maryland, U.S.A.-based Intrexon invested USD 25 million (EUR 23.6 million) in AquaBounty in November 2016 - giving the company two years of operating funds as it seeks to make itself profitable. Though it already operates a farm in Panama, according to Xconomy, a biotech news site, AquaBounty is seeking to purchase an existing fish production facility or construct a new one in North America.
"While biotechnology has provided significantly positive impacts in agriculture to help meet the ever-expanding challenge of feeding the world's growing population, AquaBounty's game-changing platform represents the first real contribution to aquaculture from advanced biotechnology. AquaBounty's approach should enable efficient terrestrial farming of fish in an environmentally responsible manner, without damaging the oceans, to offer consumers a fresh, delicious Atlantic salmon that is generally free of antibiotics, vaccines and other treatments that are necessary to minimize infection in sea cages today," Intrexon Chairman and CEO Randal J. Kirk said. "Following our previously announced capital investment, the listing of AquaBounty on NASDAQ will position it to focus on commencing commercial production in order to fully capitalize on the significant promise of its pioneering efforts that led to the FDA's first approval of an engineered food animal. Through this dividend, we are pleased to provide direct participation by our shareholders in the future of AquaBounty as it executes its mission to revolutionize first the multi-billion dollar Atlantic salmon and ultimately the aquaculture industry."