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Martin Jetpack raises $6.5 mln in oversubscribed placement

Martin Jetpack raises $6.5 mln in oversubscribed private placement

By Paul McBeth

Sept. 11 (BusinessDesk) - Martin Aircraft Co, which plans to make the world's first commercial jetpack allowing a person to fly, raised $6.5 million in an oversubscribed private placement ahead of plans to take the company public.

The Christchurch-based company sold the shares at 30 cents apiece to a mix of sophisticated and high net worth investors, taking its share register to 125, it said in a statement. The offer was $1.5 million more than the original $5 million Martin Aircraft sought, of which $1 million came from an Asia-based venture fund. The investors were largely Australian, with several from the US, New Zealand, and Asia.

"This result gives us a strong indication of the positive investor interest for the Martin Jetpack story here in Australia," said Axtstra Capital managing director Rueben Buchanan, who ran the offer. "We can now focus our attention on the next step which, as previously foreshadowed, includes a possible IPO and listing of the company."

Martin Aircraft has previously signalled plans to raise $20 million in an initial public offering and listing on the ASX later this year.

The company is touting 40 pre-orders for jetpacks representing $6 million in sales, with a further potential $20 million worth of serious interest. The jetpack can fly for 30 minutes with a 30 kilometre range at speeds of up to 74 km/hour, compared to its nearest competitor, with only 30 seconds of flight.

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Martin Aircraft wants to target the light helicopter market, dividing potential customers between government, for surveillance and remote operations uses; first responder, for emergency, security and rescue uses; and recreational, for tourism and flight school uses.

The funds raised will be used to help make the jetpack a commercial venture, and cover ongoing costs.

It will hold a general meeting shortly to approve the issue of capital.

The company claims over 100,000 enquiries on its jetpacks, and says it has $42.9 million of potential pipeline orders.

It has appointed Norton Rose Fullbright as legal advisors to the IPO, Bell Gully Lawyers as New Zealand legal advisors, and PwC as investigating accountants.


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