Sid Rajeev, B.Tech, MBA, CFA
Head of Research
Clean Seed makes significant appointments
Clean Seed Capital Group Ltd. (TSXV: CSX) made significant additions to its management team, and advisory board, since the beginning of the year. We believe these appointments give a signal to the market that the company is gearing up for a strong 2017. Brief biographies of the new members follow:
Colin Rush, Chief Operating Officer
Colin is a senior operations leader with nearly 20 years’ experience in the North American agricultural equipment industry. Colin has held senior positions with John Deere, Case IH and JCB Canada. Colin had joined Clean Seed as an independent director in 2014. Colin played an instrumental role in securing the Rocky Mountain Equipment distribution network partnership. Colin holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanized Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan and a Master of Business Administration in Agricultural Economics from the University of Guelph.
William Edward Mufford, P.Eng., Chief Technology Officer
For more than 20 years Ed has built, expanded, developed and led high tech engineering teams
from early stage research and development into large scale commercial production. Ed has held leadership roles with Ballard Power Systems, General Hydrogen, & Plug Power Canada. Ed and with a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1992.
Gary Anderson, Advisory Board Member
Mr. Anderson co-founded AG Growth International Inc. (AGI) in 1996 and served as its CEO from 2010 to January 2016. From its inception on the Alberta Stock Exchange to its present form as a TSX listed company with an enterprise value of $1.1 billion, Mr. Anderson was a driving force behind AGI’s strategic direction, the acquisition and integration of fifteen business units, the development of AGI’s people and its ongoing operational performance and improvements. AGI has production facilities across Canada, Midwest United States, United Kingdom, Italy and Brazil.
Clean Seed has developed a group of patented and patent pending smart seeding and planting technologies that, we believe, has the potential to revolutionize how farmers conduct seeding and planting operations globally. The company commercialized its flagship product last year – a 60 feet wide wireless seeding machine, named the CX-6 Smart Seeder.
Initial sales totaled $1.05 million. We estimate that a 10% market share in the seeding belt of the U.S. and Canada alone reflects potential for annual revenues of $180 million from the CX-6 Smart Seeder product line.
CSX has a distribution agreement with Rocky Mountain Dealerships Inc., one of the leading agriculture and construction equipment dealerships in the country. Management intends to negotiate distribution agreements with other dealers to expand its distribution in to the U.S. and the rest of Canada this year.
The company also has a manufacturing agreement with WS Steel Ltd; a Manitoba based Tier 1 original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for a wide range of industries with a special focus on the agricultural industry.
We believe Clean Seed’s technology will be highly attractive for the majors once sales ramp up and the market gets to see users’ feedback on the CX-6 Smart Seeder. Clean Seed management’s strategy is to potentially license one or more of its technologies to the majors, such as Deere & Company (NYSE: DE), Case IH (NYSE: CNHI), Bourgault Industries, etc. A licensing deal will take the company’s IP to the global stage and allow for rapid expansion.
CSX’s CEO, Graeme Lempriere has invested approximately $3 million in the company since inception. Management and board own 27% of the total outstanding shares of CSX. Prairie based farmers own another 40% of the shares, which we believe shows their vote of confidence on the company’s technology. We have a BUY rating and a fair value estimate of $1.90 per share on CSX.
We believe any of the following potential catalysts in the next 12 months will have a positive impact on the share price.
- Demonstrations of the CX-6 across the Canadian prairies to ramp up sales;
- New distribution partners in the U.S.
- Develop smart planting technologies aimed at the global planter market
- Potential licensing or M&A activity
About Clean Seed:
We have developed an advanced precision no-till seeding system comprising several individually patented technologies, including in-ground openers, proprietary seed and fertilizer metering, and electronic control systems.
Our most advanced and innovative technology is the CX-6 SMART Seeder™, a true industry first. The CX-6 SMART Seeder™ is the next generation of seeding technology that creates a new niche within the large-scale farm markets, and as the creators of this technology, we are uniquely positioned to dominate this new market niche.