Jetpack changes rules to allow overseas control

The Martin Jetpack's future is up in the air.

The Martin Jetpack's future is up in the air.

The Christchurch-based Kiwi-invented Martin Jetpack​ company took another step towards overseas control at a special shareholder meeting.

The meeting was held at Jetpack's base in Wigram, Christchurch to change the constitution and scrap a provision requiring a majority of directors to be New Zealand based.

It was held at the request of 52 per cent shareholder KuangChi Science which used its voting power along with others to overwhelmingly support the change by 87 per cent of those who voted.

The Martin Jetpack test tent at a West Eyreton, North Canterbury farm.

The Martin Jetpack test tent at a West Eyreton, North Canterbury farm.

Chairman Jon Mayson​ said KCS needed to have the freedom to appoint the best directors available to continue to promote the company with international investors.

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KCS wanted to  have more flexibility sourcing directors internationally, Mayson said.

The change means all directors could be from overseas.

KCS's required the change as  "material" in any decisions to support the future of the company.

Martin Jetpack listed on the Australian Stock Exchange two years ago expecting the move would help find new investors.

KCS has yet to announce its director candidates or any further funding, which could be expected before the next annual meeting.

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The change forced by KCS comes against Martin Jetpack's revelations it had about two month's of operating funds.

The share price has declined from A$2.07 in 2013 to A5 cents a share.  

Martin Jetpack's dedicated and skilled engineering development team have yet to refine an engine considered commercial in spite of several years and millions of dollars of investment.

The latest version of the motor requires stripping down after 30 hours operation, well short of the 1500 hours considered a commercial proposition.

Commercialisation of the Martin Jetpack began in 1998 by inventor Glenn Martin who has now cut ties with the company.

The company received backing from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Callaghan Institute for development.

Disgruntled shareholder Ralf Rodl said he was convinced the company had about two months left before the executive team was disestablished. He said he had lost $1.25m.

The Martin Jetpack was named as one of Time Magazine's Top 50 inventions for 2010.

Controlling shareholder KCS is a Hong Kong-based computer technology company with a couple of some speculative investments like Martin Jetpack.

One of them is KuangChi Solar Ship, a Canadian-based company which designs and manufactures aircraft that are "buoyantly-assisted for superior cargo-carrying ability", and capable of taking off and landing virtually anywhere.

It was designed to serve in remote areas which lack basic infrastructure, such as airports.

KCs describes the Martin Jetpack as an vehicle for emergency services.


 - Stuff


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