You might know Murray Cod (ASX: MCA) as the company that had to deny it was affected by the Darling River fish kills as it grew them in its own tanks.

From today they will likely be better known as the company affiliated with celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. This morning they announced a five-year agreement where Blumenthal and the Fat Duck Group will become “the business’ key advocate”.

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This means, Blumenthal will “showcase” Murray Cod’s fish through Fat Duck’s social media, events and restaurants. Additionally, he will act as an advisor to the company with its menu and product development.

A Blumenthal-associated company will be granted 1.5 million shares in Murray Cod within the coming days.

Blumenthal said he was “delighted” to be affiliated with the company, noting they shared some common practices and praising their final product.

“The innovative way they have created a luxury fish product by combining natural processes evolved over millions of years with cutting edge technology aligns with the way I approach food and cooking resulting in fantastic quality,” Blumenthal said.

Murray Cod chairman Ross Anderson said, “We are confident the involvement of his group as a stakeholder in MCA will further accelerate our progress in securing Aquna’s position as a global luxury food brand”. Aquna is the brand under which Murray Cod sell its products.

“Heston’s imaginative and inventive ideas will extend to menu and product development and will mesh perfectly with the innovative ethos of the team at MCA.”

Shares jumped by 3 per cent at market open to 16.5 cents.


In other ASX small cap news today

On Friday, Simonds Group (ASX: SIO) had its Queensland license suspended due to a “technical licensing breach”. This morning it was reinstated. While the suspension had forced the company to halt all its operations in the sunshine state, the company informed shareholders that all works had recommenced.

Southern Cross Electrical (ASX: SXE) has announced it recently won contracts worth $30m. These include appointments as Stage 1 builder of south west Sydney’s Edmondson Square Town Centre and the first two stages of the RUData SYD53 data centre. Among its other appointments include a pair of contracts in Western Australia for minor works on the NBN. Southern Cross also announced it had received awards from Rio Tinto as its Electrical Infrastructure Replacement program had progressed.

While two Base Resources (ASX: BSE) directors sold shares in the company, Fidelity increased its stake from 6.22 per cent to 7.22 per cent. Over the last 6 weeks, Fidelity bought 11.76 million shares – nearly 9 million of which on May 14. The value of purchases was nearly $2.8m.

Another buyer that caught our eye was Regal Funds Management becoming a substantial holder in peer to peer lender Wisr (ASX: WZR). Regal has accumulated a 5.23 per cent stake, which all up cost around $3m and was capped off with two purchases last Wednesday equating to $1.6m.

IT company Arq Group (ASX: AQR) will sell off its wholesale retailer business for $24.4m. Arq told shareholders the proceeds would be used to repay debt and the sale was another step towards “achieving our vision of becoming Australia’s leading digital solutions partner”. The business will be sold to domain-provider CentralNic Group, although Arq has promised to help with the transition process for a two-year period once the sale is complete.