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Genetic Signatures Eyes A$35M Placement

NEW YORK – Genetic Signatures, an Australia-based molecular diagnostics maker, plans to raise A$35M (US$23.9 million) in a two-tranche placement of 35.7 million shares.

The capital will help accelerate commercial expansion in the UK and US of the firm's molecular testing products, the firm said. Those products use the firm's proprietary PCR technology, called 3base. It's EasyScreen kits are intended for use in high-volume hospital and pathology labs to screen for infectious diseases.

The placement was priced at A$.98 per share and received support from institutional investors in Australia and offshore investors, as well as a large global fund manager, Perennial Value Management, and Regal Funds Management.

"We are delighted with the significant broadening of our institutional register and the strong continued support from our existing shareholders, with demand for the placement exceeding the funds raised," John Melki, the firm's CEO, said in a statement.

The first of two proposed tranches of the placement will occur on Nov. 4 and consist of 15.6 million new shares, raising approximately $15.3 million. The second tranche will consist of 20.1 million new shares, raising $19.7 million, and it is conditional on approval from shareholders who will meet in early December. 

In conjunction with the placement, eligible shareholders in Australia and New Zealand will also be able to participate in a share purchase plan whereby holders of existing shares of Genetic Signatures on the share register as of Oct. 25 will be invited to apply for up to A$30,000 in new, fully paid ordinary shares per eligible shareholder. The targeted raising size is A$2 million and participation is optional, the firm noted. 

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