CITY WHISPERS: 'Lab pork' pioneer shows it's hungry for investment

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BSF Enterprise made history last month when it produced the UK’s first lab-grown pork fillet – which was quickly eaten by managers at its 3D Bio-Tissue division.

Its tech allows it to make ‘real’ meat, which could be on restaurant menus within five years.

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But to keep on track with this timeline, or indeed keep going at all, the group based in Newcastle upon Tyne needs money. 

Feast: BSF Enterprise's tech allows it to make 'real' meat, which could be on restaurant menus within five years

Feast: BSF Enterprise’s tech allows it to make ‘real’ meat, which could be on restaurant menus within five years

The biotech tiddler is burning through cash and the lack of revenue means it needs to raise funds in the first half of 2023, it said in its annual report.

A spokesman told Whispers that it is ‘sufficiently funded’ for the time being, meaning a cash call is not imminent. 

The firm is said to have received ‘substantial’ interest from new investors, with existing backers keen to pump in more money.

We wouldn’t want the company’s top brass going hungry.

All eyes on Anglo results over Sirius 

Eagle-eyed investors who followed the rise and fall of Sirius Minerals will be looking closely at Anglo American’s results this week. 

Anglo rescued Sirius, which was developing a huge fertiliser mine under the North York Moors National Park, in 2020 in a £405 million deal. 

It has kept developing the project – renamed Woodsmith – but the timeline and costs are increasing, with Anglo ploughing in around £1.1billion and budgeting around £800million this year alone at the last count. 

No final plans have yet been revealed. 

The wait may be over in a few days. 

Brewdog jumping on ‘bandwagons’

Weeks after Brewdog was forced to apologise for making ‘misleading’ claims about gold beer cans on social media, founder James Watt took to networking site LinkedIn to be more candid.

Watt laid bare two times the firm has tried to jump on ‘bandwagons’ – and failed spectacularly.

One was when Brewdog tried to set up its own line of seltzers after seeing the trend take off in the US, and another when it tried to get ahead of the – also American – love for hot dog restaurants with its own in London. 

Both ventures were scrapped within six months. 

The company is more careful now.But Whispers can offer some advice to the craft brewers – perhaps they should take more inspiration from this side of the Atlantic?

Drama at Hargreaves 

Drama at Hargreaves Lansdown last week as the outgoing chief executive, Chris Hill, was forced to defend his strategy following jibes from founder and number one shareholder Peter Hargreaves.

Amid the hoo-ha – as well as some results showing a jump in profits and url shortener turnover – there was scant time to delve into the Neil Woodford scandal.

The firm has taken a knock for promoting Woodford up until the star fund manager’s investments effectively collapsed – trapping the money of thousands of retail investors.

The regulator is conducting a probe, but sadly there is still no sign of the investigation being published. 

Apparently it has 24,000 documents and around 50 complex submissions to wade through…

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