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Monday, June 19, 2000

Aquasearch gets
$10 mil investment

Star-Bulletin staff


Aquasearch Inc. said today it has arranged a $10 million line of credit from Alpha Venture Capital Inc., part of the $750 million private-equity Alpha Group of Funds.

The company said it can draw from the credit line at any time according to a formula based on the price and trading volume of Aquasearch stock. The new financing will enable the Kona-based microalgae company to move ahead with its business plan, including marketing its diet and medicinal supplements, said Mark Huntley, Aquasearch chief executive. Aquasearch, which has produced animal-feed supplements, recently began production of its first human-health product, AstaFactor, based on astaxanthin, an antioxidant.

Aquasearch, which describes itself as a "development stage enterprise," has large research and development expenses and has yet to show a profit. Its latest Securities & Exchange Commission report last week showed a second quarter loss of $1.1 million, a compared to a loss of $1.25 million for the year-earlier quarter. The company was founded in 1985.

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