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Unlisted celebrates first $1 bln issue as Zespri trades

Unlisted celebrates first $1 bln issue as Zespri resumes trading after 2018 Gold3 tender

By Jonathan Underhill

April 19 (BusinessDesk) - Zespri Group's shares rose to a record when they resumed trading, after being halted for the 2018 allocation of Gold3 kiwifruit licences, pushing the kiwifruit exporter's market capitalisation to $1.1 billion and making it the first $1 billion company on the Unlisted platform.

Some 16,860 Zespri shares traded today, of which 2,440 changes hands at a record $8.35. The shares first traded at $1.75 after Zespri listed on the Unlisted Securities Exchange in February 2016.

This week, Zespri said corporate revenue from the 2018 allocation of the Gold3 license release will be $190 million to $195 million, or around $253,000-to-$260,000 per hectare, a figure that is up on the prior year. The range is the combined revenue estimate resulting from 700 hectares of Gold3 licence, and 50 hectares of Gold3 Organic new development licence, both released under a closed tender bid mechanism, New Zealand's statutory kiwifruit exporter said. The validation process for all bids is still ongoing and all bidders will be notified of their outcome from May 1.

Last month at a special meeting, shareholders voted in favour of constitutional changes including a cap on the number of shares they can hold relative to trays of kiwifruit produced, and phase out dividends for non-producing shareholders over seven years. The changes were aimed at strengthening grower ownership and control of Zespri.

(BusinessDesk)

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