Otaq Plc

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Otaq Investors - OTAQ

Otaq Investors - OTAQ

Stock Name Stock Symbol Market Stock Type
Otaq Plc OTAQ London Ordinary Share
  Price Change Price Change % Stock Price Last Trade
0.00 0.0% 5.00 01:00:00
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Top Posts
Posted at 29/7/2022 14:05 by hedgehog 100
LOL, Kemche, why do you never seem to troll my picks that are going up?!

E.g. ZEN today, and ROC over the last couple of weeks.

As Dudishes has said, some you win, some you lose.

But there are many cases of investors dumping shares in a panic right at the bottom.

Which is precisely how I was able to pick up some ZEN and ROC shares so cheaply.

Posted at 12/7/2022 11:19 by hedgehog 100
Thanks to Troajan on LSE for flagging up this OTAQ piece on Proactive Investors today:

"Market Report

Market Movers

Nick Fletcher
11:00 Tue 12 Jul 2022

... 9.04am: OTAQ in demand after Chilean deal

Marine technology group OTAQ PLC (LSE:OTAQ) has seen its shares swim ahead after a deal with a Chilean salmon and sea trout producer.

The agreement with Salmones Antártica will see the company supply its newly launched water quality measurement equipment at several cultivation sites.

The product monitors a site’s oxygen, temperature and salinity levels to provide aquaculture farmers with immediate information about the quality of their water environment.

OTAQ chief executive Phil Newby said: “SASA is a greatly respected salmon producer internationally, and an excellent reference point for OTAQ in the Chilean market. We look forward to working closely with SASA to improve their production yields and broaden our supply agreement.

“After this initial deployment in Chile, customer interest in Scotland and Australia is now being explored. The launch of this product is another important addition to OTAQ’s growing aquaculture solutions portfolio.”

Its shares are up 12.71% to 15.78p. ..."


Posted at 23/4/2022 20:29 by hedgehog 100
"Minnowtech Trial Partnership Program

Minnowtech will be selecting partner organizations to take part in a six-month trial of our groundbreaking biomass reader for shrimp, the BRS-1.

Selected partners will be able to purchase a minimum of five (5) BRS-1 devices at a 40% discount.

Initial Service Period
Each trial will include six (6) months of free biomass readings and support.

The BRS-1 device is attached to a weighted stand that is submerged at a minimum of five (5) meters from the edge of the pond. Each device is connected to a case, pondside, that manages power for the device and enables downloading of biomass data.

During the trial, Minnowtech technicians will be taking biomass readings and servicing the devices. In an effort to minimize the variables of this trial, we’re asking each partner not to move them.



With their trial program, Minnowtech are clearly seeking to reduce barriers to adoption, which is a shrewd business move.

This gives users the opportunity to test and embrace the innovation, before committing long term at full price.

And in addition, Minnowtech are employing very targeted and eye-catching online advertising, such as this banner advert above a shrimp aquaculture article on the Fish Site:

"Feed with Pinpoint Accuracy
BRS-1 Biomass Reader for Shrimp"


This is precisely the type of business combination that investors should want to see:-

I.e. not only a quite groundbreaking product, at the perfect time.

But very effectively marketed, with adoption made easy.

Posted at 23/4/2022 11:58 by hedgehog 100
Of course the retail value of shrimp is far higher, with a global market value of US$62.8 billion last year.

And the industry is actively looking to improve production through novel technologies such as Minnowtech's:

"Top Companies in the Shrimp Market
Oct 25, 2021
The global shrimp market reached a value of US$ 62.8 Billion in 2021. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach US$ 84.2 Billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.8% during 2022-2027. As per the analysis by the IMARC Group, the top manufacturers in the shrimp market are continuously innovating along the entire production and marketing chain to meet the increasing consumer expectations regarding product wholesomeness, quality, and sustainability. Production technology continues to be mostly extensive to semi-extensive with improving standardization of procedures from artisanal to industrial scale. In line with this, shrimps are more prone to periodic outbreaks of strong diseases and health management problems that disrupt supply chains and potential investors. In order to curb this challenge, key players are developing newer vaccines and adopting proactive alternatives, such as improved biosecurity, genetic selection measures, better pathogen detection, effective use of immunostimulants and probiotics. Although the shrimp industry is based on a single species with few genetically selected and improved lines, the producers are still aiming for additional genetic gains to significantly enhance production through a combination of traditional and novel technologies. ..."

Accurate shrimp biomass measurement is critical for efficient shrimp farming management, and it's been estimated that at least US$500 million is being lost p.a. through the lack of this - although the real figure is likely to be far higher.

While shrimp production is increasingly dominated by large companies, well-funded, and actively looking to employ disruptive new technologies.

So just a few large contracts, each rolled out across multiple sites, could easily generate good multi million dollar revenue.

Posted at 18/4/2022 22:22 by hedgehog 100

As those two examples you quote have share prices, presumably they are listed, so are far more advanced than OTAQ was when Phil Newby joined it in 2014, six year before the company's 2020 floatation.

I repeat that the founder/co-founders of companies typically have large number of shares at 'zero cost'.

Phil Newby's situation is similar to that, though the number of shares options concerned is only about 2.7% of the shares in issue, so isn't a big deal in terms of dilution.

He had to do a great deal to make those options worth what they are today, i.e. building up the company, and floating on the stock exchange, so it's misleading to suggest that he hasn't had to achieve good company performance to be well rewarded through these options, when he has.

There is no 'warning sign' for me at all on this, or apparently for Nigel Wray, 'the British Buffett' - who is a very shrewd investor, and who has invested very significantly into OTAQ.

"Blue Lion Labs

We use biology and machine learning to build tools which help monitor and preserve aquatic systems.

Blue Lion Labs - Pitch Video"

At 2:50 - "But this is just the beginning. Our solution can be applied to drinking water, recreation, and many other sectors, to help safeguard our water."


Posted at 14/4/2022 08:44 by hedgehog 100
"Philip Newby
Chief Executive
Phil joined OTAQ in June 2014 as commercial director and was appointed chief executive in March 2016. From 1993 to 1997 he was general manager of Unique Systems LLC an offshore equipment rental business operating in the Middle East and India. From 1997 to 2011 Phil was chief executive of Trelleborg Offshore a business that supplied flowline and cable protection to the offshore oil and gas industry."

Phil Newby joined OTAQ eight years ago, when it was an unlisted 'start-up' company.

I would imagine that his original share options stemmed from then, and reflected a lower salary than someone of his calibre could have earnt elsewhere - in which case they wouldn't have really been 'free' as such.

Such early stage companies tend to be short of cash, so the use of share options like this is useful to them, and they have a high failure rate, so it's risky for the employee concerned.

But in this case OTAQ has grown strongly over the period, with P.N. playing a major part in this, and has become an established listed company.

And part of P.N's reward is that his original share options have now become far more valuable.

So it's a totally different situation to where directors are given entirely new free share options in a listed company, which hasn't happened at OTAQ.

Indeed those entirely new Long Term Incentive Plan ("LTIP") share options granted in October 2020 have a strike price of 57.5p, even though the market price at the time was about 40p.

P.N.'s situation is far more like cases where a founder or co-founder has a significant shareholding in a company, that they didn't explicitly pay for.
And this tends to be seen positively, as they have 'skin in the game'.

Posted at 23/3/2022 18:43 by hedgehog 100
Benchmark Holdings (BMK), the global aquaculture and livestock business founded by OTAQ director Malcolm Pye, reported strong Q1 results last month, which illustrates how aquaculture can be 'insulated' from current economic challenges.

And OTAQ even more so than BMK, as the more technological nature of its business means that supply chain challenges have less impact.

It's also interesting to note BMK's strong cash position:
"Cash of £50.6m and Liquidity (cash and available facility) of £61.6m as at 21 February 2022"

Considering the buy-&-build strategy employed by BMK, OTAQ at its current share price of just 20.5p looks a sitting duck for a BMK takeover attempt, and looks a prefect fit.

Thought I think that it would have to pay at least double or treble OTAQ's current share price to succeed.

"Malcolm Pye
Non Executive Director
Malcolm founded, and from 1999 to 2019 was Chief Executive of, Benchmark Holdings plc ("Benchmark"), the world's leading aquaculture health, nutrition and genetics business. Malcolm has over 35 years' experience in international agribusiness through his various roles at Hillsdown Holdings (then HMTF Group), and through building Benchmark from the initial start-up into a major international aquaculture technology business serving the global salmon, shrimp, tilapia and farmed fish industries. Malcolm focused Benchmark's activities on animal health, breeding and genetics, advanced nutrition and knowledge/technology delivery and led the flotation of Benchmark in 2013, maintaining a lead role in investor engagement."

From the Equity Development website:

"08 MAR 2022
Strong outlook in uncertain times
Benchmark’s recent Q1 FY22 results highlighted strong operating trends in its three business areas and a positive outlook in key end-markets, especially farmed salmon. The group’s strong position serving the aquaculture industry should, in our view, insulate it from economic shocks resulting from the geo-political situation and thus make for attractive, safe haven investment.
The company has a strong balance sheet and liquidity position following its £20m equity fundraising last year, which we consider will become a more prominent positive element in its investment case. However, Benchmark will have to refinance its NOK855m senior bond, which falls due on in July 2023. Doing so would remove something that may otherwise become an overhang as it approaches the due date. ..."

Posted at 28/2/2022 17:45 by hedgehog 100
Worrying and sad times globally, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine four days ago.

The cost in human life and suffering, and the destruction, puts other issues into perspective.

That said, the financial sanctions against Russia could potentially impact upon all companies doing significant business in that country.

OTAQ has sold some Sealfence systems in Russia, however this is a small minority of its business, so should not be a major issue.

From the Hertsford Capital plc (then to be renamed OTAQ plc) prospectus (dated 24 March 2020):


The first aquaculture product which the Existing OTAQ Group has marketed is Sealfence which was launched in 2013.

Sealfence is an ultrasonic deterrent system designed to deter seals and sea lions from marine fish farming sites. Since the first sale of a Sealfence system in 2013, the number of systems in operation has grown rapidly and at 31 December 2019, the Existing OTAQ Group had a base of 1,164 systems on long-term rental contracts (12 at 31 March 2015) and a further 72 systems have been sold in Russia and Finland. ..."



Posted at 15/12/2021 19:00 by hedgehog 100
5/12/2021 07:05 UK Regulatory (RNS & others) Proposed Placing LSE:OTAQ Otaq Plc

Proposed placing by way of an accelerated bookbuild to raise GBP1.38 million

OTAQ, the marine technology products and solutions group for the global aquaculture and offshore oil and gas industries, today announces its intention to conduct a placing (the "Placing") to raise gross proceeds of GBP1.38 million through the issue of 6,272,729 new ordinary shares in the capital of the Company (the "Placing Shares") to investors at a placing price of 22 pence per Placing Share (the "Placing Price").

The Placing will be conducted in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the Appendix to this announcement through an accelerated bookbuild process (the "Bookbuild") which will be launched immediately following release of this placing announcement (the "Announcement").

In conjunction with the Placing, certain Directors of the Company intend to subscribe for Placing Shares at the Placing Price. It is anticipated that the total proceeds of such participation will amount to approximately GBP75,000.

Dowgate Capital Limited ("Dowgate") is acting as Sole Broker in connection with the Placing.

Summary and Highlights

The Placing is required in order to address the OTAQ's near-term working capital needs, strengthen the Company's balance sheet and to take advantage of the significant accessible opportunities which the Board believes are available to OTAQ in its addressable markets.

The Placing is subject to the approval by the Company's shareholders of the resolutions to be proposed at a General Meeting (as defined below) of the Company (the "Resolutions"). The Company expects to publish a circular in connection with the Placing in the coming days (the "Circular").

Phil Newby, Chief Executive Officer of OTAQ, said: "This is an exciting time for the business. Having established a portfolio of internally-developed technologies, we have a number of growth opportunities that we are looking to maximise in 2022. Continued development and investment will underpin expected growth in existing and new markets, enabling the Company to establish new revenue streams that will afford increased visibility. We very much look forward to the next stage of our development and believe we are well placed to deliver against our ambitions."


15/12/2021 10:30 UK Regulatory (RNS & others) Result of Placing LSE:OTAQ Otaq Plc

OTAQ, the marine technology products and solutions group for the global aquaculture and offshore oil and gas industries, is pleased to announce that it has conditionally raised GBP1.38 million via the Placing announced earlier today through the issue of 6,272,729 Placing Shares with new and existing institutional and other investors at the Placing Price. The net proceeds of the Placing are estimated to be approximately GBP1.23 million.

The Placing Price of 22 pence per share represented a discount of 10.2 per cent. to the closing price of 24.5 pence per existing ordinary share of 15 pence each in the Company ("Ordinary Shares") on 14 December 2021, being the last business day prior to this announcement. The Placing Shares will represent approximately 19.9 per cent. of the Company's existing share capital.

Pursuant to the Placing, certain Directors of the Company have agreed to subscribe for an aggregate number of 340,911 Placing Shares.

The Placing is subject to approval by shareholders at a General Meeting of the Company, further details of which are set out below.

Directors' participation in the Placing

The following Directors have subscribed for 340,911 Placing Shares pursuant to the Placing for an aggregate amount of approximately GBP75,000. Set out below are details of the Directors' beneficial interests in the share capital of the Company as at the date of this announcement and following Admission (as defined below): ...


Posted at 23/11/2021 11:23 by hedgehog 100

​July 26, 2021, Kekaha, HI – Minnowtech, an aquaculture technology company that enables shrimp farmers to calculate shrimp abundance for optimizing feed and harvest, today announced it has been awarded a $999,780 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
With this Phase II SBIR award, titled “Sonar Arrays for Maximizing Aquaculture Yields,” Minnowtech will focus directly on development of its sonar-based product to meet specifications for the company’s upcoming commercialization stage.

Minnowtech's product is designed to enable shrimp farmers to determine shrimp biomass; optimize stocking density, manage shrimp growth conditions and better time their harvests.

“Nearly $45 billion of shrimp are grown each year, and because they are grown in turbid water, farmers are forced to guess how many shrimp are in their ponds based on their initial stocking numbers," said Suzan Shahrestani, PhD, CEO with Minnowtech. "In working side by side with shrimp farmers, we know the lack of being able to measure biomass is their biggest hurdle to increasing the health of their crops and their profitability as farmers. Our Minnowtech solution targets this unmet need head-on."

In 2019, Minnowtech was awarded a $225,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant from the NSF. In addition, Minnowtech has raised over $1 million from investments by OTAQ Group (OTAQ - LON) and other investors around the world.

“Ultimately, our product provides farmers with real-time estimates of shrimp biomass and behavior with standardized data acquisition, fostering an integrated system for aquaculture monitoring," said Shahrestani. "With this system in place, we can accelerate shrimp aquaculture as a sustainable food source across the globe."

Founded in 2018, Minnowtech was part of that year’s HATCH Blue accelerator program, which helps support the launch of disruptive aquaculture startups. In 2019, Minnowtech also was selected to be among the Fish 2.0 Global Innovation Forum’s “Fish 2.0 Top 40,” representing the cohort of competition finalist startups that pitched to the Fish 2.0 audience of global investors.

About Minnowtech:
Minnowtech is an aquaculture technology company, founded in Baltimore, MD and with operations in Hawaii, that enables shrimp farmers to estimate shrimp biomass with precision. Using Minnowtech’s sonar-based system, shrimp farmers optimize the health and growth of their animals, enhancing harvest of market-size shrimp while minimizing risks to juvenile shrimp. Learn more: www.minnowtech.com


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