Brewer plans to stay

KAT PICKFORD
Last updated 07:41 30/10/2012

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Marlborough is an important part of the Moa Brewing Co story and its board plan to keep it in the region, founder Josh Scott says.

Mr Scott and some Moa executive staff and board members discussed the company's $15 million initial public offering with about 40 Marlborough businesspeople in Blenheim last week.

The money raised would go towards the $6m expansion of their Jacksons Rd brewery and building the company's profile and sales in its three key markets - New Zealand, Australia and the United States, he said.

"There will be lots of kickoffs for the locals, for the builders and everyone who is involved," he said.

"It won't be as big as some of the wineries around Marlborough, but it will be something different . . . it might even raise the profile of the other brewers here."

Although the brewery footprint will not change significantly, the expansion will let them increase production from about 1 million litres to 6 million litres a year.

Brewery construction would begin early next year, Mr Scott said.

Chief executive Geoff Ross said Marlborough's reputation for producing fine wine lent itself well to Moa's super premium brand and story.

Mr Ross, who is the founder of 42 Below - sold to Bacardi in 2006 - said he wanted Moa to be the international beer of New Zealand.

The bottle conditioning method used by Moa was ideal for export because it extended the shelf life, he said.

Chief financial officer Kelvin Ovington said that even with its limited resources, the company had managed turnover exceeding $1m each year, with continued sales growth.

Craigs Investment Partners Blenheim branch manager Kent Winstanley said Moa's launch gave Marlborough people an opportunity to be part of an international company.

It had received a positive response to its offer, with the $15m offer oversubscribed by 103 per cent. Subscriptions close on November 8.

Moa Group Ltd will list on the stock exchange on November 13.

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- Marlborough

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