Apple exporter seeks new money

MARTA STEEMAN
Last updated 12:44 20/06/2014

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The country's largest apple exporter has announced an initial public offering of shares worth between $161 million and $187m.

Scales Corporation is offering 100.8 million shares to the public at an indicative price of $1.60 to $1.85 a share.

The IPO will raise $30m in new capital for expansion of the agribusiness, and the rest of the shares are those being sold by its shareholders, Direct Capital Investment, ACC and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

The majority shareholder, Direct Capital, will sell much of its 84 per cent holding.

The three shareholders would retain a 20 to 30 per cent stake when the IPO was completed.

Based on the indicative price range, the company's market capitalisation would be $221m to $251m.
Scales registered its prospectus for the IPO today.

The company is the largest exporter of apples in New Zealand and has orchards and marketing operations as well as a pet food manufacturing business and cool store operations.

The final price for the shares will be set on July 4 after a bookbuild for brokers and institutional investors.
Shares are expected to start trading on the NZX on July 25.

Scales Corporation chairman Jon Mayson said the offer was expected to receive strong support from retail and institutional investors in New Zealand and overseas.

"We believe our diversity and exposure to a number of expanding export sectors is one of our key strengths," he said.

The company had an experienced senior management team, with an average tenure of more than 20 years, with the sector knowledge, relationships and expertise to continue to develop the company, Mayson said.

Scales had an after-tax profit of $20.4m on record revenues of $272.8m in the 2013 financial year.

The joint lead managers for the offer are First NZ Capital and Deutsche Craigs. There will be no public pool.

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