Expat Balex Marine crowdfunding investors buy automatic boat loader from liquidators

Gait International had already taken over the management and supply chain operations for Balex's automatic boat loader.

Two expat Kiwi businessmen who participated in Balex Marine's $330,000 equity crowdfunding last year have bought the automatic boat loader's assets from the liquidator for an undisclosed sum.

Liquidators were appointed to the Tauranga-based company and its sister firm Suelex last month after Balex couldn't find a new funding lifeline when high costs and slow sales had drained its coffers. The boat loader raised $330,000 through 80 investments via equity crowdfunder Snowball Effect in October, just above its minimum target. Participants included expat businessmen Daniel Given and Reon Oak, who run Hong Kong-based manufacturing and supply chain firm Gait International.

Given and Oak, Gait International's managing director and China operations director respectively, bought the Balex assets including its intellectual property, stock and work in progress, they said in a statement yesterday. The assets will be poured into a new company - Balex Marine South Pacific - which will be based in Tauranga.

Gait International had already taken over the management and supply chain operations for Balex's automatic boat loader, and Given said they plan to draw on their current business to support the new Balex.

The automatic boat loader "is incredibly well engineered, utilises the best in high precision components and has already gained remarkable traction in the market," Given said. "Reon and I only invest in companies that we really believe in and the Balex automatic boat loader is simply far too good to be allowed to fail."

Gait International is affiliated with Tauranga-based Gait Trading Co, which was set up by the Given family in 1989 as a wholesaler of residential locks and latches to the building sector, and is one of the country's biggest importers and distributors of door hardware and locksmithing products, according to its website.

Given and Oak said they will continue to supply the boat loader to New Zealand and Australian boat manufacturers and marine dealers, and that the new entity is close to finalising a deal with a European distributor. It also plans to look at entering the US.


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