A Martin Aircraft IPO has been tipped for the past couple of years. Now the Martin Jetpack maker sees finally near take-off.
An AFR report says the Christchurch-based company plans launch the world’s first commercial jetpack in 2016, has now raised more than half the $5 million it has been seeking in a pre-IPO capital raising and is now targeting a dual-listing on the New Zealand Stock Exchange and Australian Securities Exchange in November.
A prospectus for an initial public offering to raise about $25 million is expected to be lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission within weeks.
Corporate adviser Axstra Capital has been introducing Martin Aircraft to sophisticated Australian investors since February in a bid to drum up $5 million to get commercial production off the ground ahead of an IPO that was initially flagged for late 2014 or early 2015, the AFR says.
The company is touting 40-pre orders for jetpacks representing $6 million in sales, with a further potential $20 million worth of serious interest. The jetpack can fly for 30 minutes with a 30 kilometer range at speeds of up to 74 km/hour, compared to its nearest competitor with only 30 seconds of flight.
This morning, Martin Aircraft CEO Peter Coker told NBR he could not comment on the report, beyond confirming that Axstra has been seeking $5 million from investors across the Tasman.
"That amount of money is sufficient to get us towards pre-production not commercialisation," Mr Coker said.
In August last year, Martin Aircraft chairwoman Jenny Morel said Martin Aircraft could seek up $20 million in an IPO.
Martin Aircraft's largest shareholder is No 8 Ventures, backed by Ms Morel an Andy Lark, with a 31.5% stake. Mr Martin holds 27.68% of the company.
ABOVE: A Martin Jetpack P12 test flight.
As at July 1, the company had raised $2.5 million in its pre-IPO, with a minimum investment at $49,500, representing 165,000 shares at 30 cents apiece. The company says it completed a 10 for 1 share split to reduce the pre-IPO price to 30 cents.
In the year ended March 31, 2013, Martin Aircraft — which has yet to launch commercial sales — reported a loss of $1.76 million, on $5,206 of sales and $27,113 in other income, including New Zealand government grants, the offer documents show.
The company wants to target the light helicopter market, dividing potential customers between government, for surveillance and remote operations uses, first responder, for emergency, security and rescue uses,and recreational, for tourism and flight school uses.
The company claims over 100,000 enquiries on its jetpacks, and says it has $42.9 million of potential pipeline orders, including serious enquiries from a Mexican government agency worth up to $14.6 million, as well as from the United Arab Emirates and South Africa governments, private companies in Australia, Canada, the US and Jordan, and non-civil interest from Thailand, Qatar and Egypt.
A Russian commercial security firm, a Brazilian fire department and a Kuwaiti medical customer have also made serious enquiries.
It has appointed Norton Rose Fullbright as legal advisors to the IPO, Bell Gully Lawyers as New Zealand legal advisors, and PwC as investigating accountants.
The company was founded by Glenn Martin in 2004, and has been experimenting with operational jetpack designs for half a decade.
In July last year, Martin Aircraft passed a major milestone as its latest prototype, the P12, became the first model to gain Civil Aviation Authority certification for manned flight.
The certification was granted in early July, CEO Peter Coker tells NBR ONLINE.
Mr Coker was drafted from aerospace and defence giant Lockheed Martin, where we was international business development, in April last year.
The company could make up to 500 Jetpacks a year at its Woolston, Christchurch facility, the CEO says, initially priced at around $250,000 each.
“We are focussing initially on developing the Jetpack for use as a first responder vehicle and heavy lift unmanned air vehicle,” Mr Coker says.
The aim is to follow up with a $150,000 model, which would have broader appeal. Eventually the CEO sees the Jetpack hitting the recreational market.
If it does, and production takes off, manufacturing would move offshore, albeit with Martin Aircraft keeping tight control of design and IP.