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Marlin Global Casts Wide for Investments

For Immediate Release

13 December, 2007

 

Marlin Global Casts Wide for Investments

 

Recently listed investment company Marlin Global has cast its net throughout the world as the New Zealand based firm builds its international share portfolio.

 
The most recently listed vehicle of established fund manager Fisher Funds, Marlin Global has invested in 13 companies with operations in China, the United States, Ireland, Germany, France, Hong Kong and Singapore.

 

Marlin Global listed on the NZX on November 1 after raising $103 million and it has so far invested around 20 percent of those funds.

“We are pleased with our progress,” says Fisher Funds Managing Director Carmel Fisher. “We have another six companies earmarked for investment but some have performed very strongly recently after announcing good profit results.”

“We’re very disciplined investors and have chosen not to invest up to our target weightings immediately in some of our favourite companies.  We expect to do so by the end of January 2008 as current market conditions are rewarding this discipline and opportunities are emerging for us to invest in what we believe are great companies at very attractive prices.

Carmel Fisher said interest among investors remained high and a recent round of Fisher Funds investor meetings had been dominated by questions about Marlin Global and the international companies that it was targeting.

“Our San Francisco-based analyst Scott Brown was here for the meetings and he and fund manager Ken Applegate explained that they have been investing in international businesses for more than a decade and that they had chosen their favourite companies as Marlin’s first investments.”

Ken and Scott have met with more than 60 companies since September through attending broker conferences in Asia, Europe and the US and visiting individual companies. 

Among Marlin Global’s recent investments are China’s O2 Micro, Irish contract research organisation Icon plc, French-based Gameloft and American beverage retailers Hansens and Jamba Juice.

Marlin Global Portfolio Manager, Ken Applegate, is expecting double-digit profit growth for his portfolio companies over the next 3-5 years.

“I’m pleased with the diversity of geographies and industries in the portfolio as that means profit growth is linked to the health of the global economy and is not dependent just on the US economy which has been the focus of financial markets for much of 2007,” says Mr Applegate.

“A number of the investments we currently hold are businesses that Scott and I have been involved in before and we know their management teams, their performance track records and their future growth strategies.

“O2 Micro has the largest pool of specialist engineers in China and makes semi-conductors for LCD TVs and laptops for manufacturers such as Sony, Apple and HP.  Gameloft has made more than 200 video games for mobile phones and other electronic devices.

“Hansens’ Monster energy drink is second only to Red Bull in the US with a 25% market share. Hansens has been selling energy drinks in the US for decades and has recently announced plans to launch globally.

“Jamba Juice is the largest smoothie chain in the US with more than 600 American stores and, like other category leaders Starbucks and Subway, has the opportunity to become a global brand.”


Other companies currently in the Marlin Global portfolio are:

Home Inns (China) – the No. 1 economy hotel chain in China;
Hongguo (China) – China’s No. 2 brand fashion shoe retailer;
Wirecard (Germany) – a payment processor for internet transactions;
City Telecom (Hong Kong) – a leading provider of high speed broadband on the island;
Icon PLC (Ireland) – a healthcare company specialising in managing clinical trials;
Raffles Education (Singapore) – Asia’s leading for-profit education provider;
Conceptus (United States) – A new permanent birth control system for women;
Ultimate Software (United States) – A leading payroll, talent management and HR provider for small to medium businesses;
Equinix (United States) – a global internet infrastructure company.
 

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