Thursday, September 13, 2007

Planktos: $2 MM Private Placement

From the San Jose Mercury-News:

Planktos, a Foster City company with no sales, no employees and less that $15,000 in cash as of June 30, said Wednesday in a press release it secured up to $2 million in a private placement by an investor it didn’t name.

The investment valued Plankton at $1 a share. A stock chart on the company’s Web site was last updated Aug. 15, when the shares traded at $1.04. The shares, which trade over the counter, closed Wednesday at 54 cents.

The company is a descendant of a business called eWorld Travel that was incorporated in Nevada in 1998 to provide Internet-based travel services. That entity has changed its name three times since then, to GYK Ventures in 2002, to Diatom in 2005, and to its current identity, Planktos, last March.

The company is currently “engaging in global eco-restoration projects to revive dwindling forests and ocean plankton ecosystems.” It hopes to cash in on the “rapidly expanding multi-billion-dollar market” for carbon credits designed to help fight global warming. It currently has projects to restore plankton plant life underwater and to reforest places above ground.

Russ George was appointed as the company’s chief executive and chief financial officer in March. “Mr. George’s experience includes a classical education in ecology followed by business experience in life resource industries,” according to the company’s annual report.

George is the company’s third CEO in less than a year. Like his predecessors George receives no salary. Nor does he appear to own any shares of the company.

Plans are to spend $1.4 million of the new funds to “begin the first voyage of the RV Weatherbird II,” the company’s research vessel used for its “ocean plankton restoration technology.” The other $600,000 will be used for “the planting of indigenous trees in the national forests of Hungary.”

Planktos says “it will soon be providing regular progress updates on the status of these two world-class projects.”

We, and the company’s new mystery investor, will be watching.


The Mercury News' Chris O'Brien and Jack Davis scour for the hidden stories in daily securities filings of Silicon Valley companies.