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Genesis Research sells shares equal to 20% of capital

BUSINESSDESK: Genesis Research and Development, the unprofitable developer of gene silencing technology, has placed 9.1 million shares, equivalent to 20% of its existing capital, to Delight Grace, a British Virgin Islands-registered firm.

The shares were sold at 1 cent apiece, less than half the 2.5 cents they last traded at on June 29, raising $91,000.

In notes for discussion at the annual meeting last month, the company said there were “very tight market conditions for funding biotech” and a low share price meant any placement “will only raise a small amount”.

In March, the company told NZX Market Supervision that it was “able to pay its debts as they fall due and continues to be solvent”.

The statement was in response to a query from the regulator which said a shareholder had complained the company was not solvent.

UBNZ Asset Holdings, which was associated with the failed bid for the Crafar Farms, emerged last year with a 16% holding in Genesis.

The research firm is trying to negotiate a "reverse takeover" of Mariposa Health, an unlisted Australia medical researcher.

Genesis shares traded as high as $7.55 in 2001.