Gentrack shares debut at $2.58 on NZX after IPO to pay debt, allow selldown

James Docking, Gentrack chief executive director

Gentrack Group [NZX: GTK], which develops utilities and airports software, first traded at $2.58, up 7.5 percent from the price in an initial public offering that raised funds to repay debt and allowed existing shareholders to sell down their holdings.

The company raised $36 million of new capital that will be used to repay debt taken on for its management buyout in 2012 and to cover IPO costs. At the same time, existing shareholders including chairman John Clifford and executive director James Docking raised about $63 million selling existing shares. After the sale, existing investors hold about 43.2 percent of Gentrack.

The trading debut gives Gentrack a market capitalisation of about $188 million, ranking the company between Green Cross Health and Hallenstein Glasson Holdings on the NZX All Index. The stock last traded eased to $2.55 after about five minutes of trading.

The listing comes at a rocky time for companies looking to go public. Hirepool yesterday abandoned plans for what would have been the year's second- biggest IPO on the NZX as investors baulked at the offer, while Serko [NZX: SKO] slumped in its first day of trading, recovering today to trade at $1.04 compared to an IPO price of $1.10. Mobile measuring device maker ikeGPS and Scales Corp, the fruit and vegetables logistics group, both currently have prospectuses in the market and there's talk that MetroGlass, Orion Health, Vista Entertainment Solutions and Eroad are considering going public.

The Auckland-based Gentrack counts Genesis Energy, Meridian Energy, MightyRiverPower, Australia's Origin Energy and the UK's SembCorp Bournemouth Water among the electricity and water utility customers for its Gentrack Velocity billing product. Airport companies that use its Airport 20/20 management system include Auckland International Airport, Sydney Airport, Hong Kong International Airport and John F Kennedy International Airport.

The company competes with SAP and Oracle for utility billing systems and with Lockheed Martin, SITA and AirIT for airport systems, according to its prospectus. Given the share sale will leave Gentrack debt free, with a strong balance sheet, has said it would consider acquisitions of up to $20 million to add compatible software or enter new markets.

(BusinessDesk)

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