Sam Brougham
Sam Brougham

Biotech chairman buys up big on company

THE chairman of a Sunshine Coast agricultural biotech firm has significantly boosted his shareholding in the company less than month after it started trading on the ASX.

Sam Brougham, who chairs Terragen Holdings, has splashed out nearly $475,000 in five separate trades since December 12.

The spending has added 2.4 million shares to his family super fund.

It's one of his four vehicles which held 11.8 million shares, both directly and indirectly, when Terragen debut on the stock exchange on December 11. He also has 1.6 million options.

Brougham, who also serves as a director of Ellerston Capital and Ceres Capital, was appointed non-executive chairman of Coolum-based Terragen in July 2017.

Terragen chairman Sam Brougham
Terragen chairman Sam Brougham

Under its IPO, Terragen issued shares at 25 cents a piece to raise $20 million. But, since it started trading, the stock has lost ground and never closed higher than 20 cents.

Terragen aims to tap in to global demand for a range of biological products, which use live microbes instead of chemicals to address issues such as soil health and the productivity of farm animals.

It already has two products in the Australian and NZ markets, soil conditioner "Great Land'' and feed supplement "Mylo''.

Work is also under way on several veterinary medicines as the company looks to use some of its new cash injection to establish a foothold in the US and Europe.

Despite the IPO's injection of capital, substantial hurdles remains.

The company suffered a net loss of more than $3 million in each of the last three financial years even though revenues soared nearly 50 per cent to $981,000 over that period.

That was enough for auditors to warn about a "material uncertainty'' hanging over the company's prospects for survival.