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A2 Milk to list on ASX in 1Q 2015

A2 Milk to list on ASX in 1Q 2015

By Suze Metherell

Nov. 18 (BusinessDesk) - A2 Milk Co, the milk marketing company, is planning to list on the Australian stock exchange next year, where it has 9 percent of the fresh milk market sold in grocery stores.

The Auckland-based company doesn't plan to raise any new capital in a float on the ASX and will keep its New Zealand incorporation and NZX listing, it said in a statement. It has hired Goldman Sachs New Zealand and DLA Piper Australia to manage the listing, and hopes to join the Australian bourse in the first quarter of 2015.

In August, managing director Geoffrey Babidge called the Australian market A2's "big cash generator", and said it will bankroll its push into new markets. The company reported annual sales rose 17 percent to $111 million in the year ended June 30, of which 96 percent came from Australian sales. A2 reported a drop in annual profit to $10,000 from $4.1 million a year earlier, as the strength of the kiwi dollar against its Australian counterpart weighed on sales.

“With a significant part of our earnings and growth coming from Australia, seeking an ASX listing is a logical strategic move for the company," Babidge said today. "Listing on ASX will enable more Australian investors to participate in the company's growth and will increase the attractiveness and liquidity of its shares. The board believes that this will benefit all shareholders.”

Shares of A2 were unchanged at 60 cents, and have fallen some 25 percent since the start of the year, underperforming the NZX 50 Index's own 16 percent gain. The stock is rated an average 'buy', based on the consensus of four analysts surveyed by Reuters, with a median price target of 80 cents.

Its annual meeting is underway in Auckland today.

(BusinessDesk)

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