The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

NXT-listed mail operator G3 Group launches crowdfunding campaign

G3 Group chief executive Mark Brightwell.
G3 Group chief executive Mark Brightwell.

Business mail operator G3 Group has launched New Zealand's first equity crowdfunding campaign by a listed company.

G3, which became the first company to list on the small-cap NXT market last year, is looking to raise up to $3 million from the public through the Snowball Effect platform.

The offer, being made by issuing new shares listed on NXT at 75c each, went live today and will run for up to 30 days.

Auckland-based G3's businesses include New Zealand Mail, Send, Pete's Post, Fastway Post and British-based Universal Mail.

The company has completed eight acquisitions in the last four years and is looking to make further acquisitions in areas such as data management technology.

G3 chief executive Mark Brightwell said the firm's "service expansion strategy" was designed to help businesses transition from old to new technologies.

"G3 is very excited by this fund raise opportunity utilising NZX and Snowball," Brightwell said.

Roger Wallis, of law firm Chapman Tripp, which advised on the capital raising, said G3 had been a "trail blazer" in New Zealand.

"The deal structure also breaks new legal ground in that it involves the melding together of three legal frameworks - the Financial Markets Conduct Act same class regime, the NXT market rules and the Snowball Effect marketplace," Wallis said.

He said the deal was innovative as it didn't utilise normal broker networks.

"While listed companies have simpler regulatory requirements when offering securities due to ongoing disclosure, in this instance the offer is too niche for most NZX brokers. Snowball Effect was able to fill this gap by providing G3 with an alternative means to distribute its offer," Wallis said.

He said the G3 deal could pave the way for other NXT-listed firms to look at "other options" for raising capital.

G3 said capital raised through the crowdfunding campaign will be combined with cash reserves and bank debt to fund acquisitions.

The company reported a 12.2 per cent rise in pre-tax profit to $2.1m from revenue of $44m in the 2016 financial year.

Its shares opened at 80c on the NXT market today.

- NZ Herald

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