GeoOp votes to leave NZAX as NZ minnows consider future

Shareholders of GeoOp, the unprofitable management app developer, have approved plans to relocate to the ASX from the NZAX and raise funds via an initial public offering that could dilute their holdings by as much as 40%.

GeoOp’s shares were suspended from trading on June 29 pending yesterday’s special meeting in Auckland and NZX Regulation has now said the suspension will continue until  GeoOp either formally delists or cancels its plan to move to the ASX. Shareholders approved three resolutions — for the company to seek an ASX listing; for the board to issue up to 35.29 million shares priced between  A17c-A19.5;  and for a new constitution be adopted. More than 99% of shares voted were in favour.

GeoOp must achieve a post-IPO capitalisation of $A15million ($NZ15.9million) under the ASX listing requirements in order for the listing to proceed. GeoOp went public in 2013, selling shares at $1 apiece in a private offer before its compliance listing on the NZAX Alternative Index. The stock last traded on the NZAX at 22c, giving it a market capitalisation of $16.3million. The move to an ASX listing would follow its business. Australia now accounts for 60% of sales and its management team is already across the Tasman.

Other companies on NZX’s small-cap indexes — the NZAX and the NXT market — are also contemplating their future as listed entities after the stock market operator said last month  lack of support and liquidity meant it was likely to consolidate its three equity markets on to a single board. It is mulling whether smaller companies could be subject to different rules as part of a simplified structure that could combine the main NZSX board, the NZAX which was already earmarked to be phased out, and its replacement market for small caps, NXT.

A spokeswoman for Burger Fuel Worldwide, the NZAX-listed burger chain franchisor, said: "at the moment, everything’s under review."

Livestock Improvement, whose NZAX-listed shares can only be traded by co-operative members, said  on the basis of the NZX’s proposal, it intended to remain a listed co-operative but the board was reviewing options as part of  work on its capital structure.

- Jonathan Underhill

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