27 Nov 2015

Drug company to float on stock exchange

8:14 pm on 27 November 2015

Auckland-based drugmaker AFT Pharmaceuticals is planning a $33.2 million share float to fund future product research and market growth.

The company - which makes the Maxigesic painkiller - is planning to list on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges before Christmas, with shares being sold at $2.80 each, valuing the company at about $269 million.

AFT was founded by Hartley and Marree Atkinson, who will retain a 76 percent stake in the company, and has been funding its product development through its cashflow.

Dr Atkinson said they were now taking the company to a new level to speed up its growth.

"Our business is at the stage now where we want to increase our research and development so we can roll out products we're developing to many new markets, so there's lots of opportunities.

"And it's important we speed up our R&D, and that's why we're raising money."

The company made a loss of $6.4 million in the six months to September from revenue of nearly $30 million, but Dr Atkinson said it was unlikely to return to profitability before 2017/18 as it invested its earnings in future growth.

The shares will be available only through sharebrokers, and an allocation was being set aside for medical professionals, while AFT has already attracted investment from Milford Asset Management and American healthcare investor CRG.