The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

Moa raising $4m as it enters tie-up with ParrotDog

ParrotDog founders (left to right) Matt Kristofski, Matt Stevens and Matt Warner.
ParrotDog founders (left to right) Matt Kristofski, Matt Stevens and Matt Warner.

Moa Group is entering a distribution tie-up with rival craft brewer ParrotDog, while also raising $4 million through an institutional placement and rights issue to fund growth.

The NZX-listed company said it had signed an agreement with Wellington-based ParrotDog Brewing and will distribute ParrotDog products in New Zealand from October 1.

ParrotDog recently made headlines when it raised $2m through the PledgeMe crowdfunding platform to fund a new brewery.

"We believe ParrotDog will be complementary to the Moa brand and will provide our sales team with a stronger craft beer offering, contributing positively to our revenues and gross margins," Moa said.

The company also announced that it will raise $2.8m through issuing 3.8m new shares at 73c each to two New Zealand funds.

The capital raising will see North Shore-based boutique fund manager Pie Funds take a 6.6 per cent stake in the craft brewer.

Pie Funds chief executive Mike Taylor said his firm was bullish on the craft beer market's prospects.

"The craft beer industry is growing very strongly - the channel is growing at 35 per cent per annum," Taylor said. "At the expense of large, well-known brands like Heineken, the craft brewers are taking over the industry."

He said Moa had strong growth potential, particularly through its move into distributing other craft beer brands.

"They've narrowed the loss in the business," Taylor said. "They're continuing to grow the top line."

Moa did not name the other institutional investor that will participate in the placement.

"The total placements represent a stake of 7.3 per cent in the enlarged share capital of Moa and the pricing represents a discount of 6.4 per cent to the volume weighted average price (VWAP) of Moa over the last 60 trading days," the company said.

Moa said the new capital would be used to expand its sales team in New Zealand and overseas, while also providing additional working capital for its core business and new initiatives such as the ParrotDog tie-up.

Existing Moa shareholders will be able to invest at the same price as the institutional investors through a non-renounceable rights issue to raise $1.3m, the company added.

"The rights issue will allow shareholders to take up one new share for every 30 held on the record date, which will be announced shortly."

Moa said institutional investors and founding shareholders, The Business Bakery and its associates and Allan Scott Wines and Estates, had committed to take up their pro rata holdings to 100 per cent underwrite the rights issue.

Miro Capital Advisory is the lead manager of the placement and rights issue.

It's been a bumpy ride for Moa shareholders since the firm's 2012 listing but the company's annual result, reported in April, showed signs of improvement.

The company narrowed its loss to $2.9 million from $5.6m a year earlier, while boosting volumes and cutting operating costs.

Moa shares, which have gained 188 per cent over the past year, opened at 85c today, still well below their IPO price of $1.25.

- NZ Herald

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