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Seeka One Of The NZAX’s ‘First XV’

Seeka One Of The NZAX’s ‘First XV’

Seeka Kiwifruit Industries’ listing on the stock exchange’s new NZAX represents a coming of age for New Zealand’s largest, fully-integrated kiwifruit supply company. As one of the first companies to list on the AX, it’s now a member of the high profile ‘First XV’ of foundation companies.

Previously recognised as one of the country’s most successful unlisted companies, Seeka’s AX listing has been heralded as a major milestone in its 15-year history.

Seeka celebrated its listing on the stock exchange’s new NZAX in fine style with a reception hosted by the directors on its home turf at Te Puke last night. Riding high after generating sales of $42.9 million in the 2003 financial year despite a seasonal downturn in fruit supply, the company is looking forward to a further boost in fortunes following its AX listing.

Just back from a tour of European operations, Seeka’s managing director Tony de Farias is confident listing on the new market will lift the company’s profile for the benefit of growers and investors with an interest in the growth of the kiwifruit industry.

“The AX listing is part of our continuing growth strategy,” he says. “It provides confidence to shareholders that robust compliance and reporting disciplines are in place.”

De Farias says the listing provides a transparent and credible marketplace for Seeka’s shares.

This is echoed by Seeka’s chief financial officer, Michael Franks, who says the AX will encourage growth in New Zealand’s capital markets. He congratulates the NZX on its initiative to make public capital raising more flexible and cost-effective for companies like Seeka.

“The AX will give members greater liquidity,” he says. “In Seeka’s case, we are confident we’ll be able to access the market for capital-raising where necessary. Our AX connection will encourage a broader shareholder base and this can only strengthen the company.”

Formerly one of the most successful unlisted companies in New Zealand, Seeka traded on the Unlisted Securities Market in association with ABN Amro Craigs before its AX listing was confirmed.

Seeka’s shares last traded at $3-85 – the highest ever in its history.

Long-established as a major player in the Bay of Plenty’s thriving kiwifruit sector, Seeka operates 13 major packing and coolstorage facilities and seasonally employs more than 1200 workers.

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