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Aquatic Foods Group (AFG)

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Tuesday 03 February, 2015

Aquatic Foods Group

First Day of Dealings on AIM

RNS Number : 8116D
Aquatic Foods Group PLC
03 February 2015
 



 

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT AND THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS RESTRICTED AND IS NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN, INTO OR FROM THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, CANADA, JAPAN, THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, AUSTRALIA OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION IN WHICH SUCH RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION OR ANY COPY OF IT MAY CONTRAVENE LOCAL SECURITIES LAWS OR REGULATIONS OR TO ANY NATIONAL RESIDENT OR CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, CANADA, JAPAN, THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA OR AUSTRALIA.

 

THE DISTRIBUTION OF THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IN OTHER JURISDICTIONS INCLUDING (WITHOUT LIMITATION) THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, CANADA, JAPAN, THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA OR AUSTRALIA (OR TO ANY RESIDENT THEREOF) MAY BE RESTRICTED BY LAW AND THEREFORE PERSONS INTO WHOSE POSSESSION THIS ANNOUNCEMENT COMES SHOULD INFORM THEMSELVES OF AND OBSERVE ANY SUCH RESTRICTIONS. ANY FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THESE RESTRICTIONS MAY CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE SECURITIES LAWS OF ANY SUCH JURISDICTION.

 

This announcement is an advertisement and not a prospectus or admission document and does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful. Investors should not subscribe for or purchase any transferable securities referred to in this announcement except on the basis of the information in the admission document ("Admission Document") and any supplement thereto published by Aquatic Foods Group Plc ("Company" or the "Group") in connection with the admission of its ordinary shares ("Ordinary Shares") to trading on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange plc ("Admission").  Copies of the Admission Document are available on the Company's website at www.aquaticfoods-ir.com.

 

 

Press Release

 
3 February 2015

 

 

Aquatic Foods Group Plc

 

("Aquatic Foods", the "Company" and together with its subsidiaries, the "Group")

 

First Day of Dealings on AIM

 

Aquatic Foods Group Plc, a marine foods and seafood processor and supplier based in the People's Republic of China ("PRC"), supplying to export and local markets, is pleased to announce the commencement at 08.00 a.m. today of dealings in its Ordinary Shares on AIM, a market operated by the London Stock Exchange plc.  SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP is acting as Nominated Adviser and Broker to the Company.  The Company's ticker is AFG.L

 

The Company, together with SP Angel Corporate Finance, successfully raised £ 9.3 million (before expenses) through the issue of 13,226,081 new ordinary shares at a price of 70 pence per ordinary share (the "Fundraising").  Aquatic Foods' market capitalisation on admission, based on the placing price, is approximately £ 79.3 million.

 

The net proceeds of the Fundraising will be used in part to expand the Group's processing capabilities, through the purchase of machinery to increase process automation as well as expanding into additional facilities to ensure the Group can meet the anticipated increase in production demand; and increase sales through investment in continued product innovation and further expanding its product distributor network across the PRC. This will involve committing funds to assist the Group in expanding the "Zhenhaitang" chain of stores in the PRC to exclusively sell its product range.  Admission will also provide Aquatic Foods with increased reputation in the PRC and internationally, as well as providing a broader investor base and access to future capital.

 

Li Xianzhi, Chief Executive Officer of Aquatic Foods Group Plc, said: "Aquatic Foods Group's fundraising and Admission to AIM marks an important landmark for the Company as we look to grow and cement our place as a leading Chinese marine foods and seafood processing company.

 

"Our IPO marks the next stage in the Company's evolution as we look to take a leading role in the industry's expansion and to extend our existing offering in a growing market. We welcome our new investors and look forward to updating them as to our progress as a publically listed company."

 

The Company's admission document can be found at www.aquaticfoods-ir.com.

 

- Ends -

 

For further information:

Aquatic Foods Group Plc


Sean Lim, Finance Director

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7398 7719

John McLean, Non-Executive Deputy Chairman

www.aquaticfoods-ir.com

 

SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP

Nominated Adviser and Broker


Stuart Gledhill / Liz Yong

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3470 0470


www.spangel.co.uk

Media enquiries:

Abchurch Communications Limited


Henry Harrison-Topham / Jamie Hooper / Canace Wong

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7398 7719

[email protected]

www.abchurch-group.com

 

 

Notes to Editors:

Aquatic Foods Group Plc, together with its subsidiaries, is a leading marine foods and seafood processor and supplier based in China ("PRC").  The Group initially built its business through focusing on the export market (principally Japan under the "Kanwa Foods" brand), and subsequently established the "Zhenhaitang" brand in 2007 in mainland China to take advantage of the growing market in the PRC driven by growing disposable income within the PRC Middle-Classes and a more health conscious consumer base.  The Group's main products are processed frozen seafood, seaweed-based foods and marine snack foods.

 

The Group benefits from excellent food safety procedures developed over many years which have helped the Group to build a strong track record of supplying its products into overseas markets.  This track record has enhanced the perception of the quality and reliability of the Group's products in the PRC and has allowed the Group to expand significantly into local markets as demand for seafood products has increased.  In a market that has seen regular public health scares relating to food safety, the Group considers that its adherence to these standards to be a key strength.

 

The Group has obtained the following key standards:

 

-      ISO 9001 Quality Management System certification

-      HACCP Food Safety System certification

-      BRC certification; and

-      Marine Stewardship Council certification

 

The Group works with a network of distributors to effectively market its products in the PRC.  The Group has continued to grow its distributor relationships and now distributes its products in 16 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in the PRC through 50 regional distributors.  These distributors in turn sell the Group's products to sub-distributors and retailers, including supermarket chains and hypermarkets such as Metro, Wal-Mart, RT-Mart and FMart.  The widespread distribution and customer network, coupled with extensive efforts in marketing and product innovation, has allowed the Group to continue strengthening its market position in the PRC seafood products industry.

 

Market

According to Euromonitor International, the annual growth rate of high-income individuals in the PRC has grown significantly recently.  Between 2010 and 2012, the growth rate of high-income consumers in the PRC has increased from 20% to 28%.

 

With the growth in the PRC's per capita wealth and resultant higher standard of living, demand has started to move towards processed and ready to eat products as opposed to the procurement of daily foods from traditional markets.  Furthermore, many PRC consumers are believed to be concerned about food hygiene and safety and look to recognised branded goods where there is a perception of enhanced food safety.  As a producer offering quality, ready to eat and internationally sourced seafood products with a strong emphasis on food safety, the existing and proposed directors believe that the Group will be able to meet this demand.

 

The international seafood market has also continued to be a favourable market place for the Group to operate in.  The export market for PRC seafood processors witnessed fast growth between 2009 and 2013.  Total export for frozen whole fish and fish fillets and pieces products from the PRC has increased from 1.42 million tons to 1.98 million tons, representing a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 8.8%.

 

Board of Directors

 

Dr. Wang Shaodong, Non-Executive Chairman (aged 52)

Dr. Wang was the chief executive officer of Shenzhen Xinyong Fanglue Investment Management Company Limited mainly responsible for identifying projects for private equity investments and execution of merger and acquisition projects. Since May 2013, Dr. Wang has worked as the chief executive officer for China Bright Stone Investment Management Group Limited which is a leading investment company specialized in fund management, financial advisory and direct investment in listed or non-listed companies in the PRC. From 1991 to 1994, Dr Wang worked as an associate professor and professor in the Chongqing University of the PRC. From 2001 to 2004, Dr. Wang was a doctorate supervisor (instructing professor) at Economics at Shandong University of the PRC. Dr. Wang obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree from Wuhan University of Technology and Master of Science Degree from Chongqing University in 1982 and 1987 respectively, and the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of London in 1995. Dr. Wang is also an executive director of Synertone Communications Ltd, a company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (Stock Code - HK1613).

 

Li Xianzhi, Chief Executive Officer (aged 46)

Mr. Li Xianzhi is the Chief Executive of the Group and is primarily responsible for Group's overall strategies, planning and business development.  He has more than 20 years' experience in the seafood industry and founded Yantai Kanwa in 1999.  He graduated in 1991 from the Yantai University of International Business and economics with a diploma majoring in International Trading.


 

Kim Huat (Sean) Lim, Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary (aged 39)

Mr. Sean Lim is the Chief Financial Officer of the Group.  He is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants.  He has more than 15 years' experience in areas of financial reporting, tax, corporate finance, treasury, risk management and audit.  He joined the Group in July 2014 and is responsible for overseeing the Group's accounting and financial reporting functions, regulatory reporting as well as investor relations matters.  Prior to joining the Group, he was the Chief Financial Officer of VSIP Group.

 

John McLean OBE, Non-Executive Deputy Chairman (aged 61)

Mr. McLean is a non-executive director of the China Britain Business Council (CBBC) and is Chair of VSO China.  In addition, he is also a member of the VSO Federation Council.  In 2007 he joined the board of Humberts plc, the estate agent, and became its Executive Chairman to lead its rescue and ultimate disposal.  Prior to this, he carried out a strategic review for Gamma Holdings NV of their UK interests, including Sanderson, the textile and wallpaper company, and as its UK group managing director successfully implemented the turnaround and disposal plan.  Sanderson was a global company which was brand and design led and had operations in America, Asia and China. In the nineties, he was Finance Director and then General Manager of ICS, the UK logistics and overnight courier business and co-led a management buy-out of the company with 3i, prior to its successful disposal to Hays plc.  Mr. McLean qualified as a Chartered Accountant and was previously with Coopers & Lybrand in both London and New York.  Mr. McLean is Chairman of China Food Company plc, a leading manufacturer and seller of soya sauce in Northern China and is also Chairman of Sorbic International Plc, a major Chinese sorbate producer and distributor.

 

Richard Sweet, Non-Executive Director (aged 54)

Mr. Sweet has over 25 years' experience in the retail industry, primarily in the clothing sector.  He initially worked for Selfridges plc and then worked for over 20 years at Marks and Spencer plc up until 2009, with 10 years in buying and merchandising, and with extensive experience of procurement from China and the Far East.  Mr. Sweet was Head of International Franchise for Marks and Spencer and managed franchised stores across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  Mr. Sweet was Managing Director of Marks and Spencer China, where he was responsible for leading the market analysis and entry strategy for the group in China and lived in Shanghai for 3 years.  Mr. Sweet was the Managing Director for the commercial arm of the UK charity Shelter where he was responsible for their trading activities and managed over 120 stores in the UK.  Mr. Sweet is currently Commercial Director for the Museum of London based in the City.  Mr. Sweet is a non-executive director of AIM listed Camkids Group plc.


 

Mircle Yap Ching Chai, Non-Executive Director (aged 37)

Mr. Yap has over ten years' experience in the finance industry, primarily in South East Asia as a director and investment adviser.  Mr. Yap currently works as a strategic investment adviser for One Capital Group Investment Ltd. ("One Capital") where he is responsible for developing strategies and implementing the organisation's financial plans.  Prior to working at One Capital, Mr. Yap was a strategic investment adviser at Quarto Capital LLC from 2007 to 2011.  He was an executive director at Exalt Global Investment & Co. from 2004 to 2006.  Mr. Yap is also a non-executive director of AIM listed Camkids Group plc and JQW plc.

DISCLAIMERS

The distribution of this announcement and other information in connection with Admission may be restricted by law in certain jurisdictions and persons into whose possession this announcement or any document or other information referred to herein should inform themselves about, and observe any such restrictions. Any failure to comply with these restrictions may constitute a violation of the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. 

In particular, this announcement is not for distribution directly or indirectly, in or into, Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of South Africa or the United States of America or to any national resident or citizen of Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of South Africa or the United States of America. The distribution of this announcement in other jurisdictions including (without limitation) Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of South Africa, or the United States of America (or to any resident thereof) may be restricted by law and therefore persons into whose possession this announcement comes should inform themselves of and observe any such restrictions. Any failure to comply with these restrictions may constitute a violation of the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

The Ordinary Shares have not been nor will be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), or under the securities legislation of any state of the United States of America, nor under the relevant securities laws of Australia, Canada, Japan, or the Republic of South Africa, and may not be offered or sold in the United States of America, Canada, Australia, the Republic of South Africa or Japan or to, or for the account or benefit of, US persons (as such term is defined in Regulation S) under the Securities Act, or to any national, resident or citizen of Canada, Australia, the Republic of South Africa or Japan.  This announcement (or any part of it) is not to be reproduced, distributed, passed on, or the contents otherwise divulged, directly or indirectly, in or Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa or the United States of America, or in any country, territory or possession where to do so may contravene local securities laws or regulations.

This announcement is directed only at persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments who fall within the definition of investment professionals in Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (as amended) (the "Order") or who are high net worth entities falling within Article 49 of the Order, and to other persons to whom it may otherwise lawfully be communicated (all such persons together being referred to as "relevant persons"). The contents of this announcement must not be acted on or relied upon by persons who are not relevant persons.

This announcement does not constitute or form part of, and should not be construed as, an offer for sale or subscription or solicitation of or invitation to make any offer to buy or subscribe for any Ordinary Shares, and neither this announcement nor any part of it shall form the basis of or be relied on in connection with or act as an inducement to enter into any contract or commitment whatsoever. No reliance may or should be placed by any person for any purposes whatsoever on the information contained in this announcement or on its completeness, accuracy or fairness. The information in this announcement is subject to change.

SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the truth, accuracy or completeness of the information in this announcement (or whether any information has been omitted from this announcement) or of any other information relating to the Company, its subsidiaries or associated companies, whether written, oral or in a visual or electronic form, and howsoever transmitted or made available or for any loss howsoever arising from any use of this announcement or its contents, or otherwise arising in connection herewith.

Both the Company and SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to update, review or revise any forward-looking statement contained in this announcement (other than as required by the AIM Rules) whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP, which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority, is acting for the Company and no-one else in connection with this announcement, the proposed fundraise and Admission and will not be responsible to any person other than the Company.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This announcement includes forward-looking statements relating to the Group's future prospects, developments and strategies and are based on the Directors' current expectations projections, and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Forward-looking statements are sometimes identified by the use of terms and phrases such as "believe", "expects", "envisage", "may", "will", "could", "should", "shall", "risk", "intends", "estimates", "aims", "plans", "predicts", "continues", "assumes", "positioned", "targets" or "anticipates" or the negative thereof, variations or comparable expressions, including reference to assumptions.  These forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts.  They appear in a number of places throughout this announcement and include statements regarding the intentions, beliefs or current expectations of the Directors or the Group relating to the Group's future prospects, developments and strategies and are based on assumptions and estimates and involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of the Group or industry results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievement expressed or implied by such forward looking statements.  No assurance can be given that such future results will be achieved.  New factors may emerge from time to time that could cause the Group's business not to develop as it expects and it is not possible for the Group to predict all such factors.  Each forward-looking statement contained in this announcement speaks only as of the date of the particular statement.  The Company, the Directors and the Nominated Adviser expressly disclaim any obligation to update these forward-looking statements contained in this announcement to reflect any change in their expectations or any change in future events or developments on which such statements are based unless required to do so by applicable law or regulation, the AIM Rules for Companies or the AIM Rules for Nominated Advisers.

 

- Ends -

 


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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