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Ecoya float goes ahead, shares begin trading on Monday

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, April 30 NZPA - The float of home fragrance company Ecoya is going ahead with the support of its owners, the investors behind vodka company 42 Below.

Ecoya shares will start trading on the NZSX market on Monday under the code ECO after $10.1 million was raised in the initial public offer (IPO). It's the first IPO on the NZSX market in around six months.

Ecoya wanted to sell 10 million shares at $1 each and had the ability to accept oversubscriptions of 3 million shares.

But it received only $7.2m from applications by New Zealand institutions, international investors, the Australian and New Zealand public and former 42 Below shareholders.

This included an additional $100,000 investment from interests associated with independent director Rob Fyfe, chief executive of Air New Zealand.

The balance of around $2.9m was subscribed for by The Business Bakery LLP (The Bakery), which partially underwrote the offer.

The Bakery is the investment vehicle of former 42 Below entrepreneurs Geoff Ross, Grant Baker and Stephen Sinclair.

Upon listing there will be 43.1 million Ecoya shares on issue and The Bakery's shareholding will be around 65 percent.

Chairman Mr Ross said the additional investment by The Bakery confirmed his and his colleague's commitment to, and confidence in, Ecoya's international growth plans.

"We welcome and thank all our new Ecoya shareholders. We have a spread of shareholders throughout New Zealand, and a few from Australia and selected US investors," he said.

Former 42 Below investors had been targeted in the marketing of the offer.

Ecoya was founded by a family which escaped to Australia from Hungary soon after World War 2, according to its website. Its major stockists include Australian department store chain David Jones. The Bakery took a shareholding in February 2008.

Ecoya was advised by investment bankers Cameron Partners. First NZ Capital Ltd and Craigs Investment Partners Ltd were the co-managers of the public share offer.

The money raised will be used to expand in international markets, recruit staff, invest in infrastructure, provide working capital funding and repay bank debt of $1m.

Mr Fyfe and Australia-based fashion designer Collette Dinnigan recently accepted invitations to join the board of Ecoya.

Ecoya creates home fragrance and body care products using natural bases.

Since the 42 Below founders invested, Ecoya has increased revenue by 77 percent to $3.9m in the 12 months to March 31.

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