Genesis breaks off ties with potential investor

Genesis breaks off ties with potential investor

In-stasis biotech company Genesis Research and Development (ASX:GEN) has broken off dealings with potential investor UBNZ Funds Management, after learning that UBNZ's former principal has been charged with bribery.

Dual ANZ/NZX listed Genesis suspended operations in FY11 after it was unable to secure a second round of funding for a gene silencing project.

The company has since been negotiating for UBNZ to provide investment funding to relaunch with a focus on New Zealand derived food products, with UBNZ having provided an initial investment of $446,000.

But on Tuesday, Genesis said it will not proceed with any further business dealings with UBNZ in light of the charges by the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption.

May Wang, former principal of UBNZ, has been charged with providing bribes worth HK$73 million ($57.9 million) to convince businessman Jack Chen to indirectly acquire UBAH, a company owned by Wang. Chen is also wanted for arrest.

Announcing the plan to sever ties, Genesis CEO Stephen Hall implied the UBNZ deal was not the only option on the table.

“Genesis has been reviewing a number of opportunities for the development and marketing of NZ food and derivatives,” he said. But he added that there's no certainty whether any of them will eventuate.

GEN shares have been trading at $0.030 since the end of August.

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Tags New ZealandBiotechnologyFoodUBNZ Funds ManagementGenesis Research and DevelopmentASX:GEN

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