Serko to join the likes of Xero

Last updated 10:20 21/01/2014
serko
Phil Doyle Fairfax NZ

Serko founders Bob Shaw and Darrin Gratfton.

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New Zealand's A$5 billion ($5.3 billion) cloud accounting software stock Xero has captured the imagination of investors on both sides of the Tasman.

And brokers are now scouting for new tech listings that could tap into the boom-time investor demand.

One candidate is another Kiwi cloud name - corporate travel booking software group Serko - which is owned by its founders and a number of private equity backers.

It is believed Serko is working with investment bank UBS and expects to update the market on its attempted New Zealand and Australian boards shortly.

Sources said the company and its bankers were keen to capitalise on heat in listed tech stocks in both markets, and a share offer could be under way as early as the second quarter.

Timetable pushed back

Serko first announced its intentions to seek a New Zealand and Australian listing last May, and wanted to be on the bourses by September.

But that timetable has obviously been pushed back - allowing Serko to bulk up its Asia-Pacific operations.

Earlier this month, Serko acquired another Australasian expense management software provider, Incharge, and foreshadowed a "number of new innovative mobile products" in the coming year.

While Serko is unlikely to be the biggest float in the next few months, any deal would be keenly watched by the market, given the eye-watering performances by the likes of Xero, Freelancer.com and micro caps Mobile Embrace and Mint Wireless - both up more than 1000 per cent in the past 12 months.

Of course there is some scepticism the tech boom has run its course, particularly in the United States, with multibillion-dollar listings by Twitter, Facebook and others in recent years.

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- AFR

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