Serko raises cash, scopes ASX dual listing

Travel management software company raises more than planned to strengthen its balance sheet.

A trading halt on the shares of travel management software developer Serko has been lifted after the company completed an NZ$8 million capital raising.

Serko co-founders Bob Shaw, left, and Darrin Grafton on listing day.

The New Zealand company, which has missed forecasts since listing in the middle of last year, also signalled it is considering exploring a dual-listing on the Australian Stock Exchange next year.

Serko will issue 9.5 million new shares at NZ$0.84 per share.

That is a 5 percent premium over the closing share price on 17 December, just before it called a trading halt, but down on the mid-2014 offer price of NZ$1.10.

In November, Serko told shareholders it would not reach break-even until the end of 2017, later than originally planned, after delays in launching its mobile app and an economic slowdown in Australia.

Serko raised more cash in its share placement than targeted in order to strengthen its balance sheet, the company said.

Participants include new and existing institutional investors in Australia and New Zealand, including founders Darrin Grafton, Serko's CEO, and Bob Shaw, chief strategy officer.

Serko will also offer eligible New Zealand shareholders the chance to subscribe for up to NZ$15,000 worth of shares. That offer is capped NZ$1 million, taking the total capital raising to a maximum of NZ$9 million.

The company intends to use the proceeds of the capital raising to fund the rollout of a new product aimed at small to medium-sized businesses. It also plans to increased marketing and support of its to reseller network.

Disclosure: Rob O'Neill holds a small parcel of Serko shares.