Agronomics completes $5m investment in cell-based seafood group BlueNala

Francesca Morgan
RNS Newswire
09:45, 19th November 2020

Agronomics (AIM:ANIC FOLLOW) has completed a subscription for a $5m Convertible Promissory Note ("CPN") in investee firm BlueNalu, a cell-based seafood group in San Diego, California. 

The investor in cellular agriculture with a focus on cultivated meat and alternative proteins said the subscription will be paid using cash from its own resources which will convert into equity in the event of a Qualified Financing, being a fundraise of US$ 50 million or greater.  

Agronomics holds 192,005 shares of BlueNalu, comprising 43,357 Seed Preferred Shares and 148,648 Series A Preferred Shares, with a book value of £2,744,613 excluding the CPN. 

Assuming the CPN is subscribed in full and a Qualified Financing occurs at a price equal to the agreed valuation cap of the CPN, Agronomics will have an equity interest of c.5.85% of issued shares following conversion and would value Agronomics' position at around £13.4m. 

BlueNalu's mission is to be the global leader in the manufacturing, marketing and sales of cell-based seafood and produce a wide array of seafood products directly from fish cells that are intended to be ‘trusted, safe, and free of mercury and environmental contaminants.’ 

BlueNalu is an early stage, pre-revenue company with operating costs of approximately US$0.75m per month and total assets as at 30 September 2020 of approximately US$13.834m including cash and near cash of US$11.95m and no material liabilities.  

Shares in Agronomics have increased by 9% in the past two weeks to open 0.77% higher this morning at 6.2p following the announcement. 

ANIC price chart

Since Agronomics' participation in BlueNalu's former Series A financing, BlueNalu has established a 40,000 sq. ft. facility for the purposes of commercialisation and development.  

Commenting on this morning’s investment, Jim Mellon, a Non-Executive Director of Agronomics said, “Agronomics is delighted to be continuing its support for BlueNalu in their work on providing a sustainable solution to meeting the world's seafood demand.” 

He said, “We are optimistic that advances by BlueNalu will be able to make a real difference in combating some of the current issues with the fishing and aquaculture industry." 

The company stated that BlueNalu is mentioned as ‘a key player in the field of cellular agriculture’ in Mellon's latest book - Moo's Law, which is due to launch in December. 

Funding in the cell-based meat sector is growing rapidly with US$ 170 million invested globally between 2016 - 2019 and over US$ 270 million already raised in 2020 alone.  

It is estimated that there are 60 companies globally within the sector. AT Kearney has predicted that Cultivated Meat's market share of meat consumption will be 35% by 2040. 

Lou Cooperhouse, Co-Founder, CEO and President of BlueNalu, added, “Agronomics has participated in each of our financing rounds thus far, and has a keen understanding regarding the role that cell-based seafood can play in the global supply chain." 

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