A Christchurch maker of energy-saving lightbulbs is carrying out an initial public offering to list on the main board of the stock exchange.
Chris Mardon and Tom Mackenzie, who founded Energy Mad - which makes Ecobulb light bulbs - have been friends since they were at the University of Canterbury in the 1990s.
Mardon was one of New Zealand's leading young manufacturing executives before he co-founded Energy Mad. In 2002, he was awarded the New Zealand Institution of Professional Engineers young engineer of the year award. Mackenzie has a background in project management and has been involved in the implementation of energy-saving designs in large international buildings.
In 2004 Mackenzie came up with his brightest idea yet - if half of New Zealand households were to buy five energy-saving lightbulbs each, they could save enough electricity to power Christchurch for a year.
The pair talked to a few power companies before Line Trust South Canterbury signed with them and the first Ecobulb project started in October 2004.
Six weeks later, two-thirds of South Canterbury homes had bought five Ecobulbs.
Over the next three years, Energy Mad worked with every major electricity utility in New Zealand, as well as the Electricity Commission (since replaced by the Electricity Authority), Foodstuffs and Shell.
Energy Mad became the fastest growing company in 2007 when it won the Deloitte Fast 50 award. Later that year the pair achieved their goal of saving all the electricity used by Christchurch.
In the last financial year, the company achieved revenue of $8.6 million, compared with $5.9 million the previous year, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $1.4 million. Its revenue was forecast to grow to $21.3 million in 2013 and ebitda to $6.2 million.
Now the vision has shifted to replacing the world's incandescent and halogen bulbs with Ecobulbs and saving enough electricity to power New Zealand for a year.
Mardon said the IPO would help provide Energy Mad with the capital it needed to secure and deliver on the market opportunities it was already developing in the United States and Europe. It would allow the company to accelerate the introduction of the next generation of Ecobulb products.
It was intended to raise at least $5 million and there had already been plenty of interest, he said.
The company was preparing to hit the road, marketing to investors and brokers. The offer opens today and closes on September 23.
- OTAGO DAILY TIMES