Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Serko announces Agreement and Investment

Serko Limited (NZX/ASX:SKO) (“Serko”), a leader in online travel booking and expense management for business, today announced:
• It is raising up to NZ$45 million of new capital to accelerate the global rollout of Serko Zeno and expand marketplace content;
• Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG) ("Holdings") will cornerstone the capital raising (via a wholly owned subsidiary of Holdings), resulting in an approximately 4.7% shareholding in Serko; and
• B.V. (“”) and Serko have signed commitments to expand their existing agreement so that can offer and promote Serko Zeno to its business traveller customers and to enable the integration of new content onto Serko Zeno.

Capital Raising

Serko is undertaking an underwritten NZ$56 million placement, comprised of:
• A primary placement of NZ$40 million newly issued ordinary shares, of which Holdings will be a cornerstone investor with a NZ$17.5 million investment; and
• A secondary sale of existing shares by a limited number of Serko employees and two directors (Darrin Grafton and Simon Botherway) of NZ$16 million.

Holdings' allocation will not be underwritten.

In addition, Serko will offer up to NZ$5 million of newly issued ordinary shares to Serko’s eligible existing shareholders resident in New Zealand and Australia under a non-underwritten Share Purchase Plan.

The funds raised in the capital raising will be used to:
• Accelerate the provisioning of Serko Zeno into North America and continental Europe;
• Deliver expanded content channels across the global travel management company (“TMC”) reseller community; and
• Increase the scale of the company to deliver and support its growing customer base and future opportunities, as a result of increased demand and to support projected expansion arising from the agreement.


The placement will be underwritten by Deutsche Craigs Limited[1] and will be conducted today through a bookbuild in which institutional and other select investors in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, United Kingdom and Singapore will be invited to participate by Deutsche Craigs Limited.

The secondary sale of existing shares by a limited number of Serko employees and two Serko directors, Simon Botherway (Chair, Independent Director) and Darrin Grafton (CEO and Executive Director), creates an opportunity to further increase the liquidity in Serko’s shares and provides some Serko team members with the opportunity (for the first time since the IPO in June 2014) to realise some value to meet personal commitments. Mr Botherway’s sell-down represents less than 50% of his current holding. Mr Grafton’s sell-down represents approximately 13% of his current holding. Both Mr Botherway and Mr Grafton remain fully committed to Serko.

Mr Botherway and Mr Grafton (and interests associated with them) have entered into an escrow deed with Serko, under which they are restricted from selling or otherwise disposing of their remaining holding for a 12-month period from the date of the settlement of the secondary sale, unless the Board of Serko approves such action or certain exceptions apply.

The placement has been underwritten at NZ$4.04 per share.

Share Purchase Plan

Serko intends to offer the SPP to eligible existing Serko shareholders resident in New Zealand and Australia, enabling them to subscribe for up to NZ$15,000 of new Serko shares at the lower of the placement price or the five-day VWAP during the last five days of the SPP offer period. The SPP will be capped at NZ$5 million. Serko assesses that the SPP will cater for a high majority of Serko’s non institutional shareholders, enabling them to participate and potentially increase their relative percentage holdings in Serko.

The final terms of the SPP are expected to be announced in more detail on 31 October 2019.

The new shares to be issued under both the placement and Share Purchase Plan will rank equally in all respects with Serko’s existing ordinary shares from allotment.

Key dates relating to the placement and Share Purchase Plan are set out in the Appendix to this announcement.

A copy of the notice of offer of same class financial products and investor presentation accompany this announcement.

Serko is being advised by Deutsche Craigs Limited and Cameron Partners Limited (New Zealand global alliance partner of Rothschild & Co.).

Agreement with

Concurrent with Holdings’ cornerstone investment in Serko, has signed commitments to expand its existing agreement with Serko so that can offer and promote Serko Zeno to its business traveller customers.

Serko expects the expanded agreement with to result in significant benefits for Serko’s customers and TMC partners by broadening and improving ‘whole of journey’ content, accelerating the global rollout of Serko Zeno, and increasing commissions to the travel management company reseller community.

Darrin Grafton (CEO of Serko) welcomed's expanded agreement to further empower the Travel Management community and drive the adoption of Serko’s market-leading technology with end-to-end journey content. Mr Grafton said: “Partnering with introduces additional content to advance our aspiration of achieving the ‘Unified Traveller Experience’ which will assist corporate travellers with simplicity and compliance while making our resellers more profitable. It is fantastic to partner with, the world leader in online travel and related services. The Serko and agreement will accelerate our journey toward our vision of seamless corporate travel and expanding our growth outside of Australasia.”

Ripsy Bandourian, VP of Partnerships at said: “We are excited to be expanding our agreement with Serko, as our vision about making Business Travel frictionless for both travellers and travel managers alike is very much aligned with Serko’s, and we’re looking forward to working together in bringing this solution to customers and partners outside of Australasia”.

The expanded agreement is not expected to have a material impact on Serko's revenues in the current financial year to 31 March 2020, due to the phased development work required and a performance-based rollout plan for’s global business traveller customers. If achieved, as anticipated, during the 2020 calendar year, the expanded agreement is expected to result in a material uplift in Serko's revenue (via increased Average Revenue Per Booking (“ARPB”) and transaction booking revenue) in the 2021 financial year and beyond; and is expected to assist Serko in achieving its medium-term aspirational target of NZ$100 million of annualised run-rate revenue.

Additional investor rights have been agreed with Holdings in connection with’s entry into the enhanced agreement. Further details of these rights and the terms of the agreement with Holdings are included in the investor presentation filed concurrently with this announcement.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Science Media Centre: Funding For R&D In New Zealand – Expert Reaction

Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Megan Woods has today announced $401.3 million funding for research and development through Budget 2020 and the COVID Response and Recovery Fund. The fund includes $150 million for an R&D loan scheme, ... More>>


Maritime NZ: NZ Joins Global Initiative Keeping Ports Open And Freight Moving

New Zealand has joined an international port authorities’ global initiative for safe and efficient movement of goods and shipping during the COVID-19 crisis. World-wide, 56 port authorities have agreed how they will work together facilitating maritime ... More>>


National: National Backs Businesses With $10k JobStart

National will provide a $10,000 cash payment to businesses that hire additional staff as part of our commitment to keeping New Zealanders in jobs, National Party Leader Todd Muller and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith have announced. Our JobStart ... More>>


DIY Law: Government Exempts Some Home Improvements From Costly Consents

Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector ... More>>


Media Awards: The New Zealand Herald Named Newspaper Of The Year, Website Of The Year At Voyager Media Awards

The New Zealand Herald has been labelled a “powerhouse news operation” as it claims the two biggest prizes – Newspaper of the Year and Website of the Year – along with many individual awards at the 2020 Voyager Media Awards Website of the ... More>>


ASB Bank: ASB Takes The Lead Again With New Low Home Loan Interest Rate

ASB has moved again to support its customers, cutting a number of home loan rates, including the two-year special rate to a new low of 2.69% p.a. Craig Sims, ASB executive general manager Retail Banking says the reduced rate will be welcome news for many ... More>>


Nathan Hoturoa Gray: The Problems With Testing And Case Statistics For Covid-19

To begin to understand disease transmission in a country requires adequate testing of your population with properly vetted, accurate tests. As the world struggles to find what 'adequate percentage' of the population is necessary, (estimates predict ... More>>


RNZ: Fletcher Building To Lay Off 1000 Staff In New Zealand

The construction company will cut around 10 percent of its workforce as it struggles with the fallout from Covid-19. More>>


Can Pay, Won't Pay: Cashflow Moves Urged

Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why We Should Legally Protect The Right To Work From Home

For understandable reasons, the media messaging around Level Two has been all about “freedom” and “celebration”, but this is not necessarily going to be a universal experience. When it comes to workplace relations, Level Two is just as likely to ... More>>


New Zealand Government: Supporting Kiwi Businesses To Resolve Rent Disputes

The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. More>>


Science Media Centre: Understanding 5G Concerns – Expert Q&A

Recent attacks on cell phone towers have brought concerns over the rollout of 5G technology into sharp relief.
While scientific research has consistently shown that the technology does not adversely affect human health, public concerns about its impact have spread around the world, fueled in part by growing misinformation online. The SMC asked experts to comment... More>>


Trade: Record Monthly Surplus As Imports Dive

Imports in April 2020 had their biggest fall since October 2009, resulting in a monthly trade surplus of $1.3 billion, Stats NZ said today. “This is the largest monthly trade surplus on record and the annual goods trade deficit is the lowest ... More>>


Media Blues: Stuff Chief Executive Buys Company For $1

Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher has purchased Stuff from its Australian owners Nine Entertainment for $1.
The chief executive was returning the company to New Zealand ownership, with the sale is expected to be completed by 31 May.
"Our plan is to transition the ownership of Stuff to give staff a direct stake in the business as shareholders," Boucher said in a statement.... More>>


RNZ: Bar Reopening Night 'much, Much Quieter'

Pubs and bars are reporting a sluggish first day back after the lockdown, with the fear of going out, or perhaps the joy of staying home, thought to be a reason for the low numbers. More>>


Stats NZ: New Zealand’s Population Passes 5 Million

New Zealand's resident population provisionally reached 5 million in March 2020, Stats NZ said today. More>>

NIWA: Seven Weeks Of Clearing The Air Provides Huge Benefits: Scientist

Seven weeks of lockdown has provided evidence of how pollution can vanish overnight with benefits for the environment and individuals, says NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley. Dr Longley has been monitoring air quality in Auckland, Wellington ... More>>


Government: Milestone In Cash Flow Support To SMEs

A significant package of tax reforms will be pushed through all stages in Parliament today to throw a cash flow lifeline to small businesses. More>>