Nanotechnology company Izon Science could list on the New Zealand stock exchange as early as April, but may put it off to let a private equity fund make a bigger investment than expected.

"It's on the cards. We are just closing a private equity round at the moment and the outcome of that will likely determine the timing of the listing," said Jules van der Voorn, director of corporate development and marketing.

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One option under consideration is to list around April when the new financial year starts, he said. However, one private equity fund is looking at investing more than Izon had expected in the current round, on the condition that the company delay the listing until later this year.

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"We are just sort of reaching profitability now so they are of the opinion that if we continue growing we will be able to have a more successful listing later," he said.

The Christchurch-based company - which has offices in the UK, Boston and Lyon - is the world leader in isolating particles in the nano size range. They have a raft of potential medical applications, notably cancer diagnostics, said van der Voorn. Its suite of customers includes all top medical research institutions.

Izon's Automatic Fraction Collector (AFC) released in June 2019. Photo / Supplied
Izon's Automatic Fraction Collector (AFC) released in June 2019. Photo / Supplied

Izon is currently "hugging the break-even point on an operations level," he said. The company is targeting revenue of $10 million to $12 million for the upcoming financial year and expects to be positive or neutral on an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation basis, "which we think is unique for a high-growth company in our field," van der Voorn said.

A decision hasn't been made on the date for listing but once the private equity round wraps up "we will have a timeframe," he said.

Izon CEO and chairman Hans van der Voorn. Photo / Supplied
Izon CEO and chairman Hans van der Voorn. Photo / Supplied

Regardless, Izon has started the process for a compliance listing, which he said is cheaper and easier than an initial public offer and "we would be listing the entire company."

An Izon listing will be welcome news for the NZX as it continues to struggle with a dearth of new entrants. The latest data show NZX lost seven equity securities last year, ending December with 131. Two more are set to depart with the boards of Abano Healthcare and Metlifecare supporting takeover bids.

"We think that when we list it will be quite exciting for NZX because we are quite unique to New Zealand. There aren't too many companies like us working with the organisations that we work with," said van der Voorn.

- BusinessDesk

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