SLI shareholders sell 6.8% of company below IPO price after escrow ends
By Suze Metherell
Sept. 23 (BusinessDesk) - Initial shareholders of SLI Systems, the search engine developer, have sold 6.8 percent of the company at the end of a 16-month lock-up period at 23 percent below last year's offer price.
The shareholders sold some 4.2 million of the 40.1 million locked-up shares at $1.15 apiece yesterday, the Christchurch-based software developer said in a statement. That's below the $1.50 price the shares sold at in May last year when SLI raised $27 million in an initial public offering, of which $12 million went to the existing shareholders.
Yesterday's sale reaped a further $4.8 million for the initial shareholders, who had agreed to place about two-thirds of the firm's issued stock in escrow until the company released its 2014 annual results.
SLI's initial shareholders included Pioneer Capital, Lynnwood Holdings, Marder Media Group, Grant James Ryan Family Trust, Geoffrey Michael Brash, Shaun William Ryan Family Trust, Michael Arthur Grantham, Kevin Taylor Family Trust, and Rob van Noblen Family Trust, according to its prospectus.
Last month SLI posted a loss of $5.7 million for the 12 months ended June 30, smaller than the $7.2 million loss forecast in its offer documents in May last year. Operating revenue was $22.1 million, about matching its forecast for $22.2 million, while cash reserves were $11.4 million, versus the $7.3 million flagged in its prospectus.
SLI is forgoing short-term profit and reinvesting earnings to fund its growth plans as it hopes to capitalise on the growing e-commerce market, particularly in the US, and says its software as a service is the second biggest after Oracle providing online retailers with suggestive search engines.
The shares fell 2.3 percent to $1.29 on the NZX today and have declined some 54 percent from a high in January of $2.90.