Vista Group has been one of the big success stories among the flurry of firms that floated on the sharemarket last year.

Since listing at $2.35 in August 2014, the cinema management software developer's shares have more than doubled in value.

But Vista managing director Murray Holdaway says he'd probably prefer never to go through another initial public offering.

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He revisited some of the listing's trials and tribulations in his talk at last week's event.

Holdaway said one of the most gruelling parts of the process was the roadshow, in which presentations were made to institutional investors and brokers in the lead-up to the float, which raised $40 million in new, growth capital.

"I did the non-deal roadshow one-hour presentation, I think, 38 times in one week," he said. "You get kind of bored of yourself, but it is what it is."

One of the roadshow's highlights, said Holdaway, took place when Vista was talking up its profit to a potential Hong Kong investor. "He said, 'Eight million dollars? There's a lady selling knock-off handbags on the footpath down there that does eight million dollars'. It was really funny, but we had the last laugh because they were the largest bidder into our bookbuild." Holdaway said last year was a particularly challenging time to carry out an IPO, with so many other companies also floating on the NZX.

"We had a lot of stuff going on before us -- quite a few listings," Holdaway said. "When we went to Australia to pitch the company, you could see there was a fair bit of analyst and broker fatigue."

Finding independent directors was also difficult. "It's not the easiest thing to find a new independent director when you're about to go into an IPO, with all of the various risk elements that go with it -- not everyone wants to do that," said Holdaway.

Vista claims to hold almost 40 per cent of the world's large-cinema market -- operators with more than 20 screens -- and has customers in more than 60 countries.

Its software is used by cinema operators for online ticket booking, food and beverage sales and staff rostering.


The company also has subsidiaries that operate in film distribution and marketing. Vista's group revenue is forecast to reach $61.5 million this year, with a net profit of $8.1 million.