Fish firm Benchmark raises £36m

Benchmark's salmon broodstock
Benchmark's salmon broodstock
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Biotech firm Benchmark Holdings, which develops vaccines to keep fish healthy rather than using antibiotics to treat disease, has conditionally raised £36m through a placing and intends to raise up to a further £7m by way of an open offer.

The Sheffield-based firm said the money will be used to scale-up CleanTreat, its system for removing medicinal residues from treatment water which is integral to the commercial delivery of BMK08, the firm's sea lice treatment.

Peter George, executive chairman of Benchmark, said: "We are preparing to launch BMK08, our novel medicinal treatment to combat sea lice, one of the main biological challenges in salmon farming.

"This requires scaling up CleanTreat, our proprietary system that removes medicinal residues from treatment water, and which is integral to the delivery of BMK08. Having reviewed a number of funding options, we strongly believe that an equity raise is the optimal funding strategy to deliver this scale.

"I am pleased that existing and new shareholders have placed their confidence in us to drive Benchmark to finally deliver on its enormous potential. The actions we will take in 2020 will deliver a profitable business, leading the future direction in key areas of sustainable aquaculture."