Powerhouse Ventures to raise $21 million from ASX listing

Company looks to expand its operations into Australia

Christchurch-based technology commercialisation company, Powerhouse Ventures, has lodged a prospectus with the Australian Stock Exchange for an IPO to raise up to $A20 million ($21m), after earlier flagging its intention to list on the NZX.

Chairman Kerry McDonald said the company would look to expand its operations into Australia. “We propose to enter the Australian market at a time when governments are determined to ensure university research funding generates commercial outcomes. Powerhouse intends to be a central part of this environment with its excellent university engagement model, business building expertise, capital and networks.”

McDonald said the offer would give investors the opportunity to invest in a business that will “identify and transform intellectual property from New Zealand and Australian universities into globally successful businesses.”

The New Zealand Herald reported McDonald in December 2014 saying new funding was critical and that an estimated $40m would be needed to provide funding to its existing portfolio and make new investments. It said the options include “an IPO, bringing in one large investor, or raising an expansion fund for that amount.”

In early 2016 Powerhouse raise $1.7m through crowd funding organisation Snowball Effect. In the memorandum for that raising, McDonald said: “It is the current intention of the board to pursue an IPO through a dual listing in New Zealand and in Australia. …This is hoped to occur during the financial year ending 30 June 2016.”

Powerhouse claims a strong record of success with a portfolio of 19 early-stage to established NZ businesses across engineering and cleantech, medical and healthcare, agritech and environment, digital and ICT.

Managing director, Stephen Hampson, said the company had a distinct investment philosophy and support methodology for the companies in which it invested. “Powerhouse is an end-to-end intellectual property commercialisation company. To this point, many retail investors have shown interest in Powerhouse because we help take companies from initial investment all the way through to mature profitable businesses - we’re with those companies for the long-term,” he said.

He added: “We are very proactive in providing guidance and support for the companies in which we invest because we know from experience that it delivers a far more effective commercialisation process. Powerhouse not only provides working capital but also expertise to help manage risk, structure corporate governance, guide strategy and identify and provide resources to our growing portfolio companies.”

The offer is expected to open on 17 August 2016 and will close on 15 September 2016. Curiously, the company seems to have been anticipating its ASX listing for some time. The investor relations section of its website contains an “ASX announcements” page with entries going back to September 2015.

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