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Featured NBR Rich List: Geoff Ross

Businessman says Moa is still his core focus.

Fri, 10 May 2019


$65 Million

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Marketing man Geoff Ross has increased his interests in beer company Moa Group and hopes his efforts will pay off.

Ross made his fortune through vodka company 42 Below, which sold for $138 million in 2006.

Since then, his investment vehicle The Business Bakery – which he owns 40%, with fellow 42 Below founders Stephen Sinclair and Grant Baker taking the rest – have focused on three main companies – Trilogy International, Turners and Moa.

Trilogy was sold in March 2018 to Citic Capital China Partners for $211 million. The $2.90 a share offer netted the Bakery about $66 million.

The Bakery underwrote and plugged $3 million into candle-maker Ecoya’s $10 million IPO (at $1 a share) in 2010.

It then bought the fast-growing skincare brand Trilogy later that year for $20 million before rebranding the whole business to Trilogy in 2013 when it first turned a profit.

The Bakery also sold $30 million worth of shares in mid-2016 when Trilogy raised capital at $3.70 a share.

After selling out of Trilogy, the Bakery owners decided to divvy up remaining shareholdings between the three of them.

Ross, who now owns 11.45% of Moa through his family trust Ross Ventures Trust and a further 1.96% through Moa Investments (2014), says Moa, of which he is chairman and chief executive, remains his core focus.

Despite having some spare cash after the Trilogy sale, he’s not actively looking for any other investments (although he did buy a further 1.2m shares in Moa early June).

“I love New Zealand brands and export stories and will always look at things, and potentially in time be more of a passive investor in some of these New Zealand export stories. For now, my time and resource is going into Moa.”

The brewery hasn’t performed so well of late, with its latest annual loss falling 8% to $2.5 million and its share price declining about 25% over the past 12 months to July 2018.

However, Mr Ross is hopeful the brand will pick up, especially with a new distribution agreement in growth market China.

In November 2017, he and wife Justine Ross sold their Herne Bay mansion – which was once owned by the Sultan of Brunei, for $22 million.


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Featured NBR Rich List: Geoff Ross