Plandaí­ Biotechnology: Avoid This Green Tea Fantasy

Plandaí­ Biotechnology (OTCPK:PLPL), "headquartered" in Seattle, is seeking to "transform the world of nutraceuticals" by growing green tea in South Africa and employing specialized extraction technologies in order to produce a highly bioavailable green tea gallate catechin. The company believes that it can potentially cure malaria, and it also suggests that its "Phytofare Catechin Complex" may lead to weight loss among many other possible positive health indications, like curing cancer or HIV. While these are significant opportunities to address large problems that have led investors to drive PLPL up over 1000% in 2013, a careful review of the company's background and financials reveals many red flags that suggest investors are at risk of losing their entire investment. With approximately 111mm shares, PLPL commands a market cap of $73mm.

Before I share my observations, I would like to credit Rami Grunbaum of the Seattle Times. In the course of my research, I found his investigative piece "Green Tea Firm Raises Red Flags" that appeared earlier this summer. Mr. Grunbaum's observations are spot-on in my view, and with his permission I have incorporated several of them in my analysis. I also want to share that I exchanged many emails with Shane Traveller and also spoke with him on phone for about 90 minutes. Traveller, who Grunbaum described as "the guy with the SEC problem," indeed appears to have a checkered past which we discussed. With that said, he has an extensive background in the medical device and healthcare industry. I will be sharing many red flags, and perhaps Traveller's involvement merits more attention, but I am not including his past in my analysis as he is not an officer of the company.


PLPL came into existence in late 2011 through a simultaneous reverse merger with a worthless meat distributor, Diamond Ranch Food, and

This article was written by

Alan Brochstein, CFA profile picture
Author of 420 Investor
Capitalize on cannabis with the help of a person on top of it for 10+ years

Alan Brochstein, CFA, was one of the first investment professionals to focus exclusively on the cannabis industry. He has run 420 Investor, a subscription-based due diligence platform for investors interested in the publicly-traded cannabis stocks that he is moving to Seeking Alpha, since 2013, and he is also the managing partner of New Cannabis Ventures, a leading provider of relevant financial information in the cannabis industry since 2015. Alan is based in Houston. He and his wife have two adult children.

Before focusing exclusively on the cannabis industry in early 2014, Alan had worked in the securities industry since 1986, primarily with the responsibility for managing investments in institutional environments until he founded AB Analytical Services in 2007 in order to provide independent research and consulting to registered investment advisors. In addition to advising several different hedge funds and investment managers, including Friedberg Investment Management, where he participated as a member of its investment management committee, Alan was also a senior analyst for the independent research firm Management CV. In 2008, he began providing a first-of-its-kind subscription-based service for individual investors, Invest By Model, which offered two different portfolios that investors could replicate in their own accounts. Alan also offered The Analytical Trader at Marketfy, where he used fundamental and technical analysis in a disciplined process to offer specific trade ideas geared towards swing traders.

Recommended For You

Comments (34)

To ensure this doesn’t happen in the future, please enable Javascript and cookies in your browser.
Is this happening to you frequently? Please report it on our feedback forum.
If you have an ad-blocker enabled you may be blocked from proceeding. Please disable your ad-blocker and refresh.