Pharmaceutical company chases dual listing

  • 09/10/2015
AFT Pharmaceuticals wants to list in Australia and New Zealand (File)
AFT Pharmaceuticals wants to list in Australia and New Zealand (File)

By Paul McBeth

AFT Pharmaceuticals wants to list in Australia and New Zealand, raising funds to speed up the development of products to sell in other countries.

The Auckland-based drugs developer and reseller is considering an initial public offering on the NZX and ASX, hiring First NZ Capital as sole lead manager, it said in a statement, without indicating how much money it wants to raise.

The funds raised will go towards completing clinical product development and introducing those drugs into foreign markets, and also expanding AFT's sales team in Australia.

"Raising new capital is really about taking this business to the next level and advancing our portfolio of innovative development products," chief executive and majority shareholder Harley Atkinson said.

"In terms of product development, regulatory approvals, licensing and distribution, we've developed a good track record."

In May AFT raised US$14 million (NZ$21.18m) in a capital raising with Texas-based Capital Royalty taking a 7.58 per cent and Milford Asset Management's active growth fund buying 3.03 per cent.

Later that month the company announced it had raised US$7.5m in follow-on equity from Capital Royalty, the Atkinson family, AFT board members, and a group of specialist pharmaceutical investors from the US.

Capital Royalty now holds nine per cent while Atkinson family interests retain almost 87 per cent.

AFT was established by Mr Atkinson in his garage in 1997 with $50,000 in start-up capital after he was made redundant from Roche.

It is targeting sales of $80 million this year, up from about $65 million in 2014.

Its best-known product in New Zealand is the heavily promoted pain-killer Maxigesic.