Listing for Mad Butcher

The Mad Butcher and company brand ambassador Sir Peter Leitch (right) with Dunedin store owner...
The Mad Butcher and company brand ambassador Sir Peter Leitch (right) with Dunedin store owner and operator Tony Coulston. Photo by Craig Baxter.

One of New Zealand's best-known brands, the Mad Butcher, will become listed on the NZX following the purchase of the business by listed Veritas Investments Ltd.

The brains behind such listings as 42 Below and Charlie's are also behind Veritas. Historically, brands had done well after listing because of the high name recognition by investors.

Brokers spoken to yesterday expected keen public demand for shares.

Veritas chairman Mark Darrow said the company had been looking for acquisition opportunities throughout 2012.

''Having looked at a number of businesses, the Mad Butcher is a stand-out and we are delighted to bring this company to the market through Veritas.

''It is a proven and iconic New Zealand business and has performed strongly over many years. But more importantly, it offers opportunities for growth.''

As part of the deal, Veritas would acquire the Mad Butcher franchisor business for $40 million from owner Michael Morton. The transaction would be paid for by $20 million in cash and $20 million in Veritas shares.

Mr Morton would remain as the chief executive of the Mad Butcher business, would become a director of Veritas and be its largest shareholder following the completion of the transaction.

Mr Darrow said funding arrangements were in place. Those incorporated a confirmed underwriting agreement with Craigs Investment Partners, backed by sub-underwriting firm equity commitment from existing shareholders.

Veritas would go to the market for a public capital raising early next year.

The transaction was subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals and a shareholder meeting was planned for March.

Veritas was keen to broaden its shareholder base and was planning a capital raising that it would market to institutional and retail investors, Mr Darrow said.


At a glance

• Established in 1971 by Sir Peter Leitch.
• Starting from one store, the business expanded across Auckland region in early 1980s.
• In 1998, having opened eight stores, the first franchise was established in Whangarei.
• All stores migrated to franchise model.
• Today, is in 36 locations in 12 cities across NZ.

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