ICPbio takes backdoor listing route

Shareholders of listed company Australasian Property Holdings Group have agreed to the company being used as a vehicle for the backdoor listing of biotech company ICPbio.

Directors have renamed Australasian Property ICP Biotechnology.

ICPbio is one of New Zealand's longest-established biotechnology companies and currently manufactures and markets products for use in animal reproduction, animal healthcare and the fine biochemicals field.

The Auckland-based biotech company plans to invest up to $5 million on a leased site to develop a sterile manufacturing base for human pharmaceuticals over the next three years.

It hopes to raise $2 million through a share placement to fund new assets and provide working capital as part of a plan to boost its production to over $20 million in 2007. Part of the increase will come from extra production from the 2229sq m of additional manufacturing space it is leasing next to its existing 1858sq m factory in Henderson.

Shareholders agreed on Friday to Australasian Property paying $12 million for ICPbio, by allocating 80 million shares in Australasian Property, and the conversion of $2 million in liabilities into equity, through the issue of 13.3 million shares in Australasian Property to the owners of the debt.

Directors were also authorised to raise new capital through the placement of up to 30 million new shares in Australasian Property, at no less than 15c each.

Dr Earl Stevens, a major ICPbio shareholder, was appointed a director of Australasian Property and named managing director.

He said the decisions would enable the company to expand staff from 50 to 100, and expand the range and bulk manufacture of products for use by human biopharmaceutical companies.

Keeping two sterile plants as separate facilities provided a good back-up strategy, he said.


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