Invest South takes stake in Bison Group

Bison chief executive Greg Fahey

Funds from private-equity fund Invest South and other investors will provide a capital base for continued growth as Dunedin-based Bison Group looks to expand its international footprint, the company's chief executive said.

Established in 2014, Bison has developed technology to fill a key niche in response to new international maritime laws introduced last year that require the certified weighing of shipping containers. The company has developed what are essentially portable scales that can be taken to heavy containers, rather than having to take the container to the scale, which is much more capital intensive, said chief executive Greg Fahey. It is now selling into 25 markets, in particular the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and staff has grown from three last year to 11.

South Invest declined to specify how much they have invested in Bison, but documents on the Company's Office website show they hold a 6.35 percent stake or 1,192 shares in the company. It was "particularly interested in Bison because of its positioning in the industrial weighing and shipping industry amidst a significant change in the global regulatory environment," said Peter Carnahan, chairman of Invest South, in a statement.

Fahey said "their investment was made alongside a number of private investors and provides a capital base for continued growth, including continued production and inventory of stock, extension of sales and marketing activity from New Zealand and overseas. It also supports R&D. We have other products in development and we will be applying some of the capital for that".

A future initial public offering was "not on our radar for now" given the additional overhead and scrutiny involved in being a public company, and the company would assess capital options as it grows, he said.

Bison C-Jacks can weigh containers up to 35,000 kilos and syncs with the Bison app, according to the company's website. it works by "jacking" the container up and recording the weight through the scales, one on each corner. Its C-Legs is designed to weigh containers on chassis. The app then receives the weight via Bluetooth. The C-Legs eliminates the need for weighbridges, which are large platform scales on a concrete foundation that have additional transportation costs and usage fees.


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