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Pioneer Capital, NZVIF give up on SLI Systems after a decade

Pioneer Capital, NZVIF give up on SLI Systems after a decade

By Paul McBeth

March 1 (BusinessDesk) - Private investment firm Pioneer Capital has quit its 9.8 percent holding in SLI Systems after a decade-long stake in the e-commerce software developer.

The Auckland-based investment firm, which held the stake with the government's New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, sold 5 million shares for $1.25 million, or 25 cents a share, in an off-market trade on Feb. 27, according to a notice to the stock exchange. That followed a series of on-market sales since June last year, which have cut Pioneer's stake in the software firm to 0.7 percent from 9.8 percent.

Pioneer's Matthew Houtman resigned from SLI's board yesterday as a result of the exit, the software firm said in a statement.

"SLI Systems' board thanks Matthew and Pioneer Capital for the many years of support and advice they have given to the company," chair Greg Cross said. "Both have made a significant contribution."

Pioneer and NZVIF first bought into SLI in 2007, injecting $1 million into the start-up to help fund its global expansion plans. The investors held 16 percent of SLI before its initial public offering in 2013 and were among shareholders who sold $12 million of stock into SLI's 2013 initial public offering, which raised $27 million at $1.50 a share.

Since then, SLI has struggled to gain traction and is now in the process of reorientating its product in a tussle for market share. The shares hit a low of 18 cents in December, although they shot up to 40 cents earlier this week after the company posted a maiden first-half profit. The shares rose 12 percent to 29 cents today.


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