Wynyard deal boosts shares

JOSH MARTIN
Last updated 05:00 21/01/2014

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The head of market darling Wynyard Group is keeping tight-lipped on the potential returns of its deal with British security consultancy Arquebus Solutions, only saying that the partnership will deliver "significant" savings.

Craig Richardson, managing director of the Auckland-based crime-fighting software developer, said the revenue-sharing deal announced yesterday would produce labour force savings by using its partner's security consultants as a sales team for Wynyard Group.

No new contracts have been finalised, but Richardson said the opportunities could impact on the full year result .

"There are no additional development costs, the working solution has all been done. This is just another part of our growth story and another revenue stream in a very significant market.

"It's another launchpad into the US and South America which, for gun crime, is no small market."

Richardson said the Wynyard's "land-and expand" strategy is working well and the exclusive Arquebus deal was in response to market demands to tackle gun crime but a need to keep a lid on the costs of an international sales force.

The sharemarket responded positively to news of the partnership. Wynyard Group shares yesterday jumped 19 per cent from their Friday closing price of $2.50, to a record high of $3.01, before closing at $2.88 a share by 5pm, putting market capitalisation at $259 million.

The company has yet to deliver a profit but investors will be able to assess the latest developments when the company announces its 2013 results in February

The Wynyard-Arquebus programme will connect data from sources such as advanced ballistics comparison technology that creates images of bullets and cartridge cases, national gun registers and person-of-interest and intelligence databases.

It allows law enforcement agencies to trace ballistics-related data from bullets and cartridge cases to known offenders, organised-crime networks or terrorists.

Richardson said the revenue-sharing partnership was further evidence for investors that his company could find global-scale advantages through partnerships.

He said the use of technology to map and create images of bullets and cartridges for identification and matching was a capability on the rise with police departments worldwide.

"With Arquebus's expertise and tradecraft, our solution can help law enforcement officers rapidly identify persons of interest, surface intelligence, gather evidence to solve crimes where firearms have been used and disrupt trafficking," he said.

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"They have a global success story of tracking and solving gun crime through setting up the ballistic register, so it's a combination of their market expertise and our analytics."

Richardson said the UK-based consultancy would provide sales leads across about 100 sites throughout the Americas, the Middle East and Southeast Asia

"It is all about us gaining access to some of the global hot spots for gun crime," he said.

He could not yet quantify" what the deal would mean for Wynyard Group's revenue, but access to Arquebus Solutions' clientele would be an exciting development for the company.

"It's not a guarantee. We still have to get in there and close out the deals, but it's definitely a start," Richardson said.

Arquebus director Matt Lewis said using Wynyard's advanced crime analytics to integrate bullet and cartridge-case matching capabilities with international and local crime data sources was a compelling solution for police agencies.

"The challenges in countering the global problems associated with national and trans-national gun crime are great.

"The development associated with this exciting global partnership is already demonstrating our ability to support law enforcement partners across a range of organisational structures and jurisdictions," said Lewis.

Richardson shrugged off suggestions that Wynyard had quickly become a market darling since listing in July last year.

"The sharemarket has become very interested in what we are doing," he said. "People are naturally curious about crime fighting, I think. There's some mystique about us."

Richardson said that flowed through to recruitment. "As we grow we'll need to keep pushing for expertise, but working in such a cool space, we give potential employees an opportunity to work on some really interesting, intelligent projects that they can't get elsewhere."

- © Fairfax NZ News

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