The boss of an agricultural biotech outfit has been ousted just six months after the company raised $20 million ahead of its float on the ASX
The boss of an agricultural biotech outfit has been ousted just six months after the company raised $20 million ahead of its float on the ASX

Boss turfed out after $20m float

The boss of a Queensland agricultural biotech outfit has been ousted just six months after the company raised $20 million ahead of its float on the ASX.

Justus Homburg spent three years at the helm of Sunshine Coast-based Terragen Holdings before he was cut loose by the board, which didn't even bother to thank him or otherwise acknowledge his efforts when announcing the move to the market.

Taking his place is former corporate lawyer Jim Cooper (illustrated), who only joined Terragen in March as a "business development manager''.

He previously spent 12 years as a top gun with the Port of Portland and held a senior role for 18 months with the Port of Melbourne, where he gained experience with supply chain issues impacting the ag sector.

RETIRING

Homburg wouldn't comment much on Tuesday when City Beat rang for a chat, curious to find out if some kind of internal dispute had fuelled his departure.

He said merely that he had decided to retire-even though Terragen revealed he "will continue to work closely with the company as a consultant''.

Homburg's LinkedIn page also reveals that he started work as a consultant last month for a mob in Brisbane called STS Data Analytics.

Attempts to learn much about that entity proved difficult since we could find no website, no listing in the White Pages and no mention in corporate records.

Meanwhile, Cooper confirmed that the board had turfed out Homburg because it wanted "a change of emphasis'' to focus on driving the sales of biological products as it pivots away from R&D.

WIDER SHAKE-UP

Cooper has been tapped as part of a wider internal shake-up at the loss-making company.

Terragen wants to surf in on demand for a range of goods which use live microbes instead of chemicals to tackle 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''.

The cash fill-up from the December IPO was partly intended to fund work on several veterinary medicines and an expansion into the US and Europe.

But Cooper said these initiatives will be either scrapped or delayed, as he narrows the focus to sales to the dairy sector across Australia and NZ.

Dairy cows
Dairy cows

Regardless, it's still tough going for the firm, which reported a $2.36m net loss in the December half even as revenues spiked 80 per cent to nearly $800,000. That followed annual losses of more than $3 million in each of the three previous financial years.

Investors who shelled out 25 cents per share to buy into the float have also been disappointed, with the stock never trading above that amount since listing.

WIND UP BID

A Gold Coast roofing company faces possible liquidation at the hands of one of Australia's biggest steelmakers.

Paradise Point Roofing has been sued in Victorian Federal Court by BlueScope Steel, which is seeking to wind up the $2 firm over allegedly unpaid debts.

The Parkwood-based company has not lodged a defence and the sole director and owner, Minna Mari Helin, did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Records show the native of Finland launched the roofing business in 2016, although the website says she has more than 16 years of experience in the industry.

The first hearing in the case is set for July 24.

ANOTHER GIG

In case he didn't have enough already, Queensland Resources Council head honcho Ian Macfarlane has taken on another mining gig.

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane
Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane

It emerged on Tuesday that the former pollie will join the board of Brisbane-based METS Ignited, a cheerleading outfit for the nation's mining equipment, technology and services sector.

Macfarlane, who previously served as shadow resources minister, also sits on the board of Woodside Energy.

 

Originally published as Boss turfed out after $20m IPO



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