A NEW business is set to be a boon for Leeton shire and the wider area, even if it is a little “fishy”.
With the need for Murray Cod growing, aquaculture company Timpetra has announced it has signed binding term sheets to acquire Riverina-based businesses, Riverina Aquaculture, Silverwater Native Fish and Bidgee Fresh Pty Ltd.
The purpose of the acquisition is for the breeding, growing and supply of premium Murray Cod to wholesalers, restaurants and export markets.
MIA businessmen Mathew Ryan and Roger Commins will become directors and major shareholders of the company. Their drive and innovative ideas will be combined with the skills and experience of Ian Charles from Silverwater.
Timpetra chairman Ross Anderson said their knowledge would be key factors in the growth of the industry.
“The quality of the fish has already been appreciated by many locals and top-end restaurants have been clamoring for the product,” he said.
By using a land-based aquaculture model the company will also have an environmental focus.
“Effectively the same irrigation water is used twice – once through the fishponds – then the nutrient-enriched water is used to irrigate crops or pastures on the farms,” Mr Anderson said. “Cropping and grazing can be integrated with fish farming as part of the company’s operations.”
As part of the new venture, ASX-listed Timpetra will undertake capital raising of up to $10 million to fund acquisitions and expand existing operations to meet excess product demand.
“This has all the main ingredients of a great business and I believe it is the beginning of a major new industry in the Riverina area,” Mr Anderson said.
“There is almost no direct competition in either farmed or wild caught cod and barriers to entry are high.”
Due to its appearance and premium quality flesh and taste, Murray Cod is earning a reputation as one of the best tasting freshwater fish in the world. The average price paid for live Murray Cod is about $20 per kilogram at the farm gate.
Information sessions for interested investors and contract growers will be held in August.
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