SuperLife beefs up support for Energy Mad by $1m

NZX's SuperLife unit, which owns 45 per cent of Energy Mad, has added to its support for the unprofitable lightbulb maker with a $1 million loan facility for one year to provide working capital and fund expansion in Australia where it is tapping into state energy-efficiency schemes.

The interest rate on drawn down funds will be 15.75 per cent, the company said.

Australian sales jumped 82 per cent to $6.2 million in the year ended March 31, while the company's annual loss narrowed to $1.3 million and it projected an operating profit for 2017.

Because of its increased focus on Australia, Energy Mad last month signed an agreement with My Eco Limited, owned by Lawrence Grant, which will manage the company's direct-to-consumer sales in New Zealand starting yesterday.

Energy Mad sells its energy-efficient LED and compact fluorescent Ecobulbs to Australian customers through energy-efficiency schemes in Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

The $1 million loan expands SuperLife's support for Energy Mad, which includes a $2.5 million convertible notes agreement dating from early 2014 and a two-year $500,000 loan facility agreed in September 2015, of which $350,000 had been drawn down as at March 31.

The notes, in two tranches, pay interest of 12.5 per cent and 13.5 per cent, while the loan is at an annual 14 per cent rate, stepping up to 15 per cent if rolled over for an extra year.

Energy Mad also has a two-year, A$1 million factoring facility from Scottish Pacific Business Finance over its Australian accounts receivable (for debtors less than 90 days old). The interest rate on that facility is set at 1 per cent above Westpac Banking Corp's indicator lending rate, which was 8.48 per cent at the time the facility was set up, according to its annual report.

Net finance costs rose to $367,887 in the year ended March 31, from $270,330 a year earlier.

The company's shares closed at 5.9c yesterday.

- BusinessDesk

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