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Serko shares reach new record ahead of ASX secondary listing

Tuesday 1st May 2018

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Serko shares hit a new record after the online travel booking software developer announced plans for a secondary listing on the Australian Securities Exchange next month as a means to broaden its investor base. 

The stock rose as high as $2.65 and was recently up 6.1 percent to $2.63, adding to the 13 percent gain so far this year. Serko was the best performer on the NZX in 2017, starting the year at 29 cents before closing out 2017 at $2.19. The company delivered a first-half profit, positive cash flow and stepped up plans to launch in North America, attracting investor support as it executed its plans successfully. 

The company now plans to join the ASX in June via a compliance listing, while keeping its primary listing on the NZX. Australia's stock market operator has made it easier for firms to trade through its platform with a foreign exempt listing status, and its deeper pool of investors and broader analyst coverage has lured several New Zealand firms to bypass the NZX in favour of the ASX. 

"While it is Serko’s intention to remain a New Zealand domiciled-business, committed to our New Zealand investor base, we recognise that listing on the ASX is a way of potentially accessing a broader pool of institutional and retail investors who wish to share in Serko’s success," chief executive Darrin Grafton said in a statement. "The bulk of Serko’s revenue comes from Australia, and we expect to see continued growth in that market even as we undertake our global expansion initiatives." 

Earlier this year, the company signed a binding strategic alliance with ATPI Group to deploy Serko's Zeno platform globally, including in the US, Europe, UK, and Asia for the next five years. The first customer site, being the UK, is scheduled to start in the middle of the year. 

Last month Serko appointed Tony D’Astolfo, a veteran executive of several online travel firms, as senior vice president of its North American operations. 

Serko raised $17 million of new capital in 2014 when it sold shares at $1.10 apiece in an initial public offering, with existing shareholders selling a further $5 million into the float, and went back to market in late 2015, raising $8.1 million from institutional and eligible investors at 84 cents apiece.

(BusinessDesk)

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