Fiji Kava eyes listing on Australian stock market

Jalesi Vaioa of Joma, Kadavu, selling Kadavu grog from Joma and Nakasaleka, at his market stall in Suva. Picture: FILE/ ELIKI NUKUTABU.

FIJI Kava Ltd plans to raise $A5.2 million ($8m) from investors at 20 cents per share before it lists its shares on the Australian Stock Exchange with a potential market capitalisation of $A13.7m (F$21m).

A media article by the company’s media relations firm Media & Capital Partners, said once its listed on the ASX investors would get the chance to buy into the first listed kava company with Fiji Kava announcing its intention to conduct a $A13.7m initial public offering.

In a statement issued through the South Pacific Stock Exchange, directors and managers of Kinetic Growth Fund Ltd stressed that it owned 518,750 ordinary shares in FKL which it purchased for $A65,000 ($F99,825).

It said KGF was further committed to invest $A175,000 ($F286,750) as part of the company’s IPO.

Meanwhile, according to the article, the kava market is growing with global legislative changes supporting market growth and providing standardisation and regulation in the medical kava industry.

It said there was a Codex Alimentarius for the national standards for kava, plus a Kava Bill setting out regulations for the industry, which is due to be passed this year.

Fiji Kava founder and chief executive officer Zane Yoshida said: “We want to bring the relaxing benefits of kava to the world.

I’ve benefited from growing up with kava and I’m now in a position where we can farm and regulate our kava production to produce products for the global market.

“We are taking this a step further with the proprietary profiling of specific kava cultivars with specific chemotype and kavalactone profiles to target anxiety, stress, insomnia, and muscle relaxation. We want to provide a natural remedy to people that are increasingly stressed and exhausted. We truly believe this is the answer,” he said.

Fiji Kava chairman Andrew Kelly said: “I’ve followed the company for many years and really believe in this product and its medicinal benefits. Fiji Kava is producing research backed products, with further independent clinical trials with the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) taking place to target medical conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, muscle recovery and heart disease.”

According to the media representative of Fiji Kava, the company is well positioned to capitalise on this new, burgeoning market, given it already offers a proprietary range of competitively priced, high quality medical kava products under the brand Taki Mai in Fiji via a network of retail distributors.

It said the products were tracked and traced from farm to shelf. Fiji Kava is AUSTL approved in Australia, categorising it as a complementary medicine.