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Powerhouse Ventures sells out of Syft

Friday 19 May 2017 11:25 AM

Powerhouse Ventures sells out of Syft

By Paul McBeth

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - ASX-listed tech incubator Powerhouse Ventures has sold its 1.5 percent stake in Syft Technologies after deciding the investment was too small to hold much sway with the Christchurch-based gas analysis firm.

Christchurch-based Powerhouse sold 929,000 shares for $996,900, having bought the stake for $99,000 in 2013, it said in a statement to the ASX. That was below a $1.3 million valuation the stake carried on Powerhouse's books after recent gains in Syft's share price, however it reflected a 76 percent annual internal rate of return on the investment in the company's first liquidity event.

"Post the Powerhouse IPO (initial public offering) which occurred in October last year, the board reviewed all Powerhouse portfolio holdings and categorised some investments as being 'off-model'," managing director Stephen Hampson said. "At this level of holding, Powerhouse is unable to apply significant influence to an investee's strategic direction and whilst we have been delighted with Syft's performance under CEO Doug Hastie's guidance, Powerhouse will instead reinvest the proceeds over time in new ventures."

The Christchurch-based technology incubator raised A$10.9 million in an initial public offering, short of the A$20 million it had been seeking, and its shares have steadily fallen from A$1.07 on its market debut on Oct. 12 to trade at 70 Australian cents. Powerhouse raised the funds to expand its investment portfolio, which now spans 23 early stage to mature businesses, and typically takes a long-term view on a holding.

Syft was spun out of research from Canterbury University to commercialise technology that makes chemical sniffer devices to test air quality. Last month it shifted trading in its stock to the Unlisted platform from Computershare's ShareMart system and signalled plans to raise funds to support rapid sales growth. The shares last traded at $1.45 on April 24, valuing the company at $93.6 million.

(BusinessDesk receives assistance from Callaghan Innovation to cover the commercialisation of innovation.)

(BusinessDesk)

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