Perth’s biggest horse breeder reckons sperm-sorter Memphasys is worth a $1m bet
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A horse breeder has sunk $1 million into semen separator Memphasys.
Perth horse kingpin Bob Peters bought 18.3 per cent of Memphasys (ASX:MEM) — or 1 billion shares at 1c each.
Memphasys developed a method for separating the best quality sperm from semen samples. It’s now applying that to the equine and other animal breeding sectors.
“Horses are well known to have a high rate of pregnancy failure due to sperm quality issues among stallions, with both natural and assisted reproductive technologies,” said Memphasys chairwoman Alison Coutts.
Memphasys, which was called NuSep Holdings until 2016, has struggled through several years plagued by money troubles, court cases, and an ASIC investigation.
The company made $34,000 in profit for the half year to December 2017.
Still in development phase, it made no revenue at all in fiscal 2017 and a loss of $1.9 million.
They hope to sell the first semen separating units (a device named ‘Felix’) from the last three months of 2019, so the company will be relying on placements, grants and R&D rebates for some time yet.
It won’t be before time. Memphasys listed in 2007 with several products and the “Sperm Sorter” was one of them.
But at least the legal air appears to now be clear.
“For the first time in four years I can say we have nothing and there is nothing on the horizon,” Ms Coutts told Stockhead.
She emphasised that the current board inherited the legal and regulatory actions that have plagued the company since 2012.
Two sets of corporate advisors have taken them to court, one over a series of loans and the other for dumping them. Memphasys had to make payments in both cases.
A company Memphasys spun out in 2014 had to cover SGD4.8 million ($4.7 million) of its debts, and took the company to court for repayment. Memphasys gave up its shares in the company in exchange.
And in 2015, they had to pay out a former managing director over a claim around the end of his contract, and their auditors over a fee dispute in 2012.
ASIC wound up an investigation into the business for suspected contraventions of the Corporations Act 2001 between November 2009 to October 2012, after Memphasys agreed to enter an enforceable undertaking.