Mail, document and data management company, G3, were the first company to be listed on the NXT in june this year. The process from woe-to-go took six months in total and felt much like a ‘sanitization exercise’ according to company CEO Mark Brightwell. We spoke with him about the journey to get there and the crucial aspects that others should be aware of.
Why did you decide to list in the first place?
Overall it’s a decision about liquidity and access to funding. We could stay as a private company or open ourselves up to public investors. Having said that, we are under no illusions that the journey to free up the shareholder register is a long one.
Can you give us a brief overview of the process?
Getting ready for listing is a sanitization process - you feel very clean on the way out that’s for sure! Everything about the business comes under additional scrutiny so that it can sustain and support a public market listing - that means a new perspective is required on corporate structure, governance, share register, corporate documentation, audited accounts, treatment of valuations and goodwill.
What were the most challenging parts of getting your company ready to list?
Essentially the challenge is keeping the business running and on track while the distraction of the listing process is occurring all around the leadership team.
What parts of the listing process were you not expecting?
The time it takes to prepare the business for listing on the NXT and the effort to co-ordinate auditors, legal advisors and the NXT over an extended period of time. Being first on the NXT created its own challenges from all sides.
What advice would you give to other companies thinking of listing?
Listing is not for the faint hearted so do not underestimate the time, resources and dedication to the cause - there are no short cuts. Find the right support teams and seek expert advice – do not go for cheap when it comes to advisors. This is definitely one time that going top-shelf as far as experience goes pays dividends in the long run.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Listing affects all internal stakeholders including, and most importantly, the staff so be sure of the reasons for the listing well in advance, and once the decision is made to press the button, be prepared for the additional hard work and resolve to get the business over the line.
The majority of businesses likely to list on the NXT will have liquidity as the primary reason for listing. It’s a new market that will have nay-sayers and as such these businesses will be absolutely reliant on the NZX continuously promoting investor interest in the NXT via its Market Maker and Market Research partners. In the first instance the NZX must get the brokers, institutions and the public interested in the NXT market and its future aspirations.