Linnaeaus Capital Partners has sold a 48% stake in AquaBounty Technologies — the US company that is hoping to commercialise its genetically modified salmon — to a US biotechnology company, Intrexon.
Under the deal Intrexon will acquire 48.6 million shares from Linnaeus and Linnaeus’ aquaculture subsidiary Tethys Ocean for $6 million in cash.
Intrexon will now be required to make a tender offer for the remaining shares in AquaBounty.
“The company is in discussion with Intrexon about the next steps and shareholders can expect to receive a circular from the Board with its recommended course of action,” AquaBounty, which is listed on the London AIM exchange, said in a statement.
The tender will be priced at the same fee at which it bought the 48% stake, i.e. at $0.123 per share.
“This represents a premium of approximately 49% to the mid-market closing price of AquaBounty’s common stock on the date immediately preceding this announcement,” Intrexon said in a statement on Nov. 1.
As part of the deal Linnaeus’ founder, the biologist and former Georgian economics minister Kakha Bendukidze, will resign from AquaBounty’s board of directors.
Three other directors nominated by Linnaeus will also resign their seats.
Intrexon’s president of animal science, Thomas Kasser, said the acquisition would accelerate Intrexon’s efforts “to play a leading role in solving the world’s emerging food shortages through biotechnology.”
“AquaBounty’s pioneering work in genetically modified fish is an initial step toward creating a large-scale, efficient and environmentally safe and sustainable global aquaculture market,” Kasser said.
“We look forward to working with the AquaBounty team to improve aquaculture productivity and expand the reach of their molecular modification technology.”