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Police mull $1 Wynyard software option

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/10/2016 Paul McBeth

New Zealand Police are undecided on whether to exercise a $1 buyback option for forensic software they sold to Wynyard Group in 2012.

Wynyard's board on Tuesday appointed KordaMentha's Neale Jackson and Grant Graham as voluntary administrators.

The NZX-listed shares have now been suspended, having been in a trading halt for the past week.

Wynyard's insolvency is among the conditions that would trigger NZ Police's right to buy back the intellectual property rights attached to the digital forensics product and any developments for $1, though the law enforcement agency hasn't made up its mind on whether to exercise that option.

"Police are aware of the announcement made by Wynyard Group this morning," a spokeswoman said.

"We will work closely with the administrators before taking any decisions."

Wynyard stopped investing in the digital forensics market earlier this year after an operational review led to trimming back the business into two lines.

KordaMentha's Mr Graham said Wynyard had effectively exhausted its options to fund its working capital, and the administrators will focus on "identifying any strategies to realise value for the intellectual property Wynyard has built".

Wynyard was spun out of Christchurch's Jade Software in early 2013.

The IPO raised $65 million for Wynyard, though the company only kept $26 million to fund its growth ambitions, with the remainder paying out Jade for the intellectual property and covering outstanding debt.

The split also included a services agreement where Wynyard would pay Jade for the sale and support of licences, managed services, development, consulting services and administrative support. The other leg of the deal would see Jade buy development services from Wynyard.

Wynyard paid $3.8m to Jade in the six months ended June 30, while receiving $1m in revenue from its former parent.

Jade didn't immediately respond to inquiries about the impact of Wynyard's voluntary administration.

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