Wynyard shares fall on debut

TAMLYN STEWART
Last updated 12:05 19/07/2013
Craig Richardson, Wynard Group
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ

MARKET DEBUT: Wynyard Group boss Craig Richardson says the company has a high quality share register.

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Crime-fighting software company Wynyard Group debuted on the NZX at $1.15 a share today - level with its issue price - but has since dropped 3.5 per cent and was last trading at about $1.11.

Wynyard, which develops software and systems to help companies and countries counter threat, crime and corruption, last week completed an initial public offering that raised $65 million at $1.15 a share, implying a market capitalisation of $118m for the company.

Hamilton Hindin Greene director Grant Williamson said there was "nothing in it for initial investors" at this early stage.

Wynyard was a different proposition from Christchurch technology firm SLI Systems, which had seen a lot more investor demand, he said.

Hundreds of staff and guests today gathered at Wynyard's offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to mark the start of trading, including about 120 people at Wynyard's research team offices in Christchurch.

Wynyard Group managing director Craig Richardson said in Auckland that Wynyard had secured a high-quality register of local retail investors and leading institutions from New Zealand and Australia.

More than 60 per cent of the shares on offer have been allocated to New Zealand and Australian institutional investors.

Major investors include Milford Asset Management, Salt Funds Management, Harbour Asset Management, AMP Capital, Zeus Management, and Sam and Gareth Morgan.

Richardson said Wynyard was now majority-owned by New Zealand investors, reversing a trend of high-growth New Zealand technology companies being sold to overseas investors.

"Prior to the IPO we received many approaches from savvy multinationals wishing to acquire Wynyard Group's business and intellectual property," he said.

"One of the most rewarding outcomes of this IPO is that Kiwis recognised Wynyard's global achievements to date, our future growth potential and the importance of this hi-tech company to New Zealand."

The company was separated from Jade this year and is a specialist in intelligence software for protection from threat, crime and corruption.

Wynyard said in its prospectus that of the $65m to be raised, $25.8m would be used for its growth strategy.

Another $23.6m would be paid to Jade and subsidiaries for intellectual property rights, and $10m would be used to pay inter-company debts when Wynyard was part of Jade. There would be no dividends for the foreseeable future.

Wynyard's prospectus said the company was making losses and expected to make a loss this year and next year, reflecting the substantial amount of investment needed to enter new markets.

Globally, Wynyard has more than 400 customers, including national security and justice agencies, Fortune 500 companies and operators of critical national infrastructure.

The group has more than 120 staff across offices in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Canada, Britain and the United Arab Emirates.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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