11 Jul 2013

Synlait Milk to be in NZX 50 when it lists

6:53 am on 11 July 2013

Synlait Milk will be among New Zealand's top 50 listed companies when it lists on the stock market later this month.

The Canterbury dairy processor has set a final price of $2.20 per ordinary share in its initial public offering which opens on Wednesday, valuing it at about $322 million.

That was towards the bottom of the $2.05 - $2.65 indicative range.

The float will raise $75 million in new capital to repay debt and fund Synlait's growth initiatives in infant formula and other products.

Existing shareholders will also sell 17.6 million shares worth nearly $38.7 million.

Cornerstone shareholder, Bright Dairy of China, is not selling shares but its stake will fall from 51% to about 39% as a result of the float.

Synlait Milk managing director and co founder John Penno said gaining broad investor support is more important than a high share price.

He said there is a solid allocation to New Zealand institutions which is pleasing, but there is some from offshore as well as would be expected.

Milford Asset Management executive director Brian Gaynor said demand by institutional investors and retail brokers was strong.

He said Milford's got scaled back and it's likely that many people were scaled back getting less than half of what they were after.

Mr Gaynor said there was a lot of overseas demand as well because infant formula and dairy products are 'the new gold'.

He said the company won't be listed for another two weeks and the environment could change, but the current indication is that the demand for the company's shares is reasonably strong.

Mr Gaynor said there has been a lack of agricultural sector representation on the sharemarket in New Zealand.

He said people can look at how well the Fonterra shareholders fund has performed and a lot of investors will see that the same could happen to the Synlait Milk share price.


Craigs Investment Partners analyst Mark Lister said Synlait is much smaller than Fonterra but it will be attractive to investors because of its growth prospects.

He said a market cap of slightly over $300 million puts it in the top 50 in terms of size, but it's still quite low on the list.

To put it in perspective, Mr Lister said it's ranked as slightly bigger than Hallenstein Glassons or Restaurant Brand.

But he said there are opportunities that a smaller company is able to take that a larger one cannot.

Synlait Milk will list on the New Zealand stock market on 23 July.