Australia’s West Coast Aquaculture Group (WCA) is set to become the first company in the country to accept cryptocurrency as part of its capital raise prior to floating on the Sydney Stock Exchange.
Carrying out the fundraise is STAX Exchange, which said it chose to accept USDT (also known as Tether) as part of its capital raise – rather than Bitcoin or Ethereum — due to the stability of pricing and the velocity at which it is traded. It expects that trading of WCA shares will commence around Nov. 19, 2020.
Head-officed in Melbourne, WCA operates one of the largest marine farming operations in Langkawi, Malaysia. Its primary products are live and fresh grouper species, which are sold to wholesale and retail customers in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore.
The company is looking to raise between AUD 5 million and AUD 7m ($3.5m-$5m) through the issue of up to 14m shares.
According to the prospectus the firm intends to use the proceeds to acquire grouper broodstock; purchase a hatchery/nursery; install more cages for grow-out; and generally conduct more R&D.
It also wants to move more into using plastic cages, as opposed to the traditional wooden ones seen above.
“The acceptance of USDT in an IPO is a transformative move in Australia and a significant step forward for cryptocurrency adoption in general. It paves the way for the future of capital markets down under,” said Kenny Lee, CEO of STAX. “We are democratizing access to a market which has been hard for overseas investors to get into, which will only benefit Australian businesses longer term.”
Neo Ching Hoe, CEO and founder of WCA, said the company “has always been an innovative organization and we are proud to be part of this historic moment in Australian investment history”. He said the firm hopes the move can open the door to more global investment for local companies.
WCA had turnover of AUD 2.2m and profit after income tax of AUD 53,720 for the period ended April 20, 2020, it said.