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Powerhouse looks to Australia for funds

NZN 2/08/2016 Paul McBeth

Powerhouse Ventures, the Christchurch-based technology incubator, plans to raise up to $A20 million ($NZ21m) in an initial public offering on the Australian Securities Exchange to expand its portfolio of investments, including branching out across the Tasman.

The incubator will sell shares at $A1.07 apiece in an offer that opens on August 17, raising $A10m to $A20m and valuing the company between $A30.8m and $A40.8m, according to its prospectus lodged with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

The bulk of the funds raised will go to expanding its $NZ20.9m investment portfolio spread across 19 different early stage companies collectively valued at $NZ133.6m.

"We propose to enter the Australian market at a time when governments are determined to ensure university research funding generates commercial outcomes," chairman Kerry McDonald said in a statement.

"Powerhouse intends to be a central part of this environment with its excellent university engagement model, business building expertise, capital and networks."

Powerhouse is one of three technology incubators which accesses operational funding, pre-incubation grants, and repayable loans for start-ups they co-fund through government innovation funding agency Callaghan Innovation.

It raised $NZ15m as a precursor to the ASX listing, including $NZ1.76m from an equity crowdfunding offer.

Originally, Powerhouse had planned an NZX listing in New Zealand but decided instead to seek a sole Australian listing because of its bigger capital markets

* BusinessDesk receives assistance from Callaghan Innovation to cover the commercialisation of innovation.

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