Crailar says new debt offering part of move to major stock exchange

Crailar Technologies Inc. on Tuesday said it expects to raise at least $3 million from a private debt offering.

Crailar Technologies Inc. on Tuesday said it expects to raise at least $3 million from a private debt offering.

Crailar Technologies Inc. on Tuesday said it expects to raise at least $3 million from a private debt offering, calling it a key step towards its move to a major stock exchange.

The company, formerly known as Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc., is working to commercialize its technology that takes rough yet abundant fibers like flax and hemp and turns them into a more sustainable competitor to cotton. The company is led out of Portland by CEO Ken Barker, a former Adidas executive, with offices in Victoria, British Columbia.

Crailar is now trading both on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSXV: CL) and in the U.S. on the OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB: CRLRF), but since last fall has been discussing a move to a major U.S. exchange, which could be either the NASDAQ or New York Stock Exchange.

In a conference call in October, Barker said he believes Crailar is "short changed" in its U.S. public listing "in terms of reach, ability to invest, credibility, et cetera." The company has also long been complaint with federal Securities and Exchange Commission and Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, but doesn't get the full benefit "of having gone through all the hoops that we do on a quarterly basis to justify it."

In a news release Tuesday, Barker said the debt financing commitments from a small group of financial institutions "is an important step in the growth strategy of the company as we apply to move to a senior U.S. exchange platform."

"The assurance that this private investor confidence provides to the public market, while we simultaneously prepare to deliver finished fiber at increased capacities from our Pamplico, S.C. manufacturing facility, puts Crailar in an ideal position for introduction on a more visible and globally accessible platform," Barker said.

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