10 Feb 2014

Rubicon raises $12 million

4:08 pm on 10 February 2014

Rubicon has raised $12 million from a placement of shares to Luxembourg-based investor Libra Fund II.

The company, which was created in 2001 to hold all the former Fletcher Challenge assets which did not fit elsewhere, owns 59 percent of listed wood products company Tenon and nearly a third of ArborGen, a company producing genetically modified trees.

Rubicon chairman Stephen Kasnet said the funds raised from Libra Fund Two, which was taking a 7.2 percent stake in Rubicon, would be used to support future commitments to its loss-making ArborGen arm.

Libra's investment was positive because it showed the Luxembourg-based investor - which Mr Kasnet called a savvy investor - saw value in Rubicon.

The new funds suggested it was unlikely ArborGen would be floated any time soon. That was despite Mr Kasnet saying at Rubicon's annual shareholders' meeting in December that floating ArborGen was still his company's objective to realise the value of its investment.

United States equity markets had been particularly buoyant, with the United States' Standard & Poor's 500 Index gaining more than 32 percent last year, suggesting it was a good time to float.

Once ArborGen was floated, Rubicon would have little reason to continue as a separate company.

Rubicon chief executive Luke Moriarty was paid $815,000 in the year ended June last year, including a $325,000 one-off golden handcuff to keep him at the company.