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Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
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Serko sells $8m of new shares to institutional investors

Will raise another $1m in SPP.

Paul McBeth
Mon, 21 Dec 2015

Serko, the online travel booking company which has downgraded its earnings guidance twice this year, raised $8 million from institutional investors at a 5 percent premium and will raise $1 million from existing shareholders to help fund a marketing push and product launch.

The Auckland-based company sold about 9.5 million shares at 84 cents apiece to new and existing institutional investors, a premium to the 80 cent price the shares were trading at before they were halted for the capital raising, it said in a statement. Serko plans to raise a further $1 million through a share purchase plan to existing investors.

The proceeds will go towards paying for the launch of a new product aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses, boost the company's profile, raise marketing for its reseller network, and chase revenue.

"There was strong institutional support expressed for the company and the Serko board decided to raise more than it was initially targeting in order to strengthen its balance sheet," the company said.

When Serko listed in June last year, chairman Simon Botherway said the company didn't anticipate coming back to market for more funding, and as recently as the August annual meeting said there were no plans to do so.

Chief executive Darrin Grafton and chief strategy officer Bob Shaw participated in the placement, buying $682,000 of shares between them, scaling back initial intentions to let new investors come on board.

The new shares account for about 13 percent of the company's shares on issue.

The placement will settle on Dec. 22, and Cameron Partners advised Serko on the placement.

Separately, Serko said it was looking a dual-listing on the ASX next year.

(BusinessDesk)

Paul McBeth
Mon, 21 Dec 2015
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Serko sells $8m of new shares to institutional investors
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